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Jana Williams

Jana Williams

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Induction Category:

Year Inducted



Jana Williams got her start in tennis the summer before seventh grade. Her older sister wanted tennis lessons, and Jana golf lessons; so they agreed to take them together. After playing in her first tournament, the captain from the high school team convinced her to try out for the varsity team as a seventh grader, playing #4 singles and 8-12th #1. She was in the top 5 in the Northwest section throughout her junior career, qualifying for Jr. Nationals and then in her sophomore year was awarded a scholarship to Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Academy in Bradenton, FL.
After high school she got pregnant with twins. When they were six months old she returned to school at North Hennepin Community College and played on the tennis team for two years, going undefeated both years and qualified for the NJCAA National tournament.
The first year she made it to the semifinals before losing, the following year the quarterfinals. After both years she was offered scholarships to play tennis, but instead of moving away from family, she decided to walk on to the University of Minnesota’s tennis team during the 1993-1994 season.
Jana became involved with the organization called the North American Indian Tennis Association (NAITA). She was the Jr. Singles champion in 1987, and Open Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles champion and Runner-up in many NAITA Tournaments. She was a past President in 2016. She also directed tennis clinics at UNITY Conference in Oklahoma City and Washington DC along with Riverside Indian Boarding School, Anadarko OK.
It was Jana’s goal to bring tennis to the Native communities across the country and brought the NAITA’s tournament to Minnesota in 2016.
She now actively competes in Women's NPC Bodybuilding and teaches anyone who wants to learn a healthy lifestyle how to work out and improve their overall health.
Her awards included the 2017 NPC FIGURE Master's 35+ 1st place and Overall Champion, the IRON VIKING, Battle of The Falls Overall Champion and the 2019 Master’s Nationals and NPC Women's Open Physique Brew City and Minnesota State 3rd and 4th places.

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