Hall of Fame to honor Black tennis

Fred Jeter | 9/21/2023, 6 p.m.
Richmond is about to become a mecca for Black tennis history.

Richmond is about to become a mecca for Black tennis history.

Black Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Shelia Curry, a local resident, has announced the organization will move its physical headquarters from Bradenton, Fla., to Richmond “as soon as we can.”

She’s looking closely into the proposed Diamond District north of Broad but is leaving all options open.

The group isn’t wasting time putting its plan into action.

This Saturday, from 6 to 9 p.m., the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be inducted in a ceremony at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 428 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

Among the inductees will be the late Dr. John A. Watson Jr., who coached tennis at Virginia Union University for 47 years and was instrumental in the early development of the iconic Arthur Ashe.

Dr. Watson will be going into the Hall as a “pioneer and contributor.”

Others in the new class are contributor Cecil Hollins, the late Edward John Davis, his son, Eddie Davis, and Ronald Landflair.

Starting in 2008, this will be the Hall of Fame’s 15th annual induction. Previous inductees include Arthur Ashe and another famous Richmonder, Rodney Harmon.

A lot will be going on Saturday, starting with a free to the public “Celebration Clinic” at Battery Park, 2510 Montrose Ave. from 8 a.m. to noon.

While the event is free, organizers have asked participants to call 804-332-0871 in advance.

Conducting the clinic will be MaliVai Washington, a former pro standout who reached the singles final at Wimbledon in 1996. In 1992 he was ranked as high as 12th in the world.

Mr. Washington also will be the keynote speaker at the induction ceremony that evening. He is currently the director of the Washington Youth Foundation in Jacksonville, Fla.

Tickets for the induction are available at www.BlackTennisHallofFame.com. The cost is $150 for an individual ticket and $1,300 for a table of 10.