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Honor Roll: Women

Katrina Adams (l) and Zina Garrison teamed together in doubles at the 1995 World Doubles Cup
Lori McNeil in action in the 1994 Wimbledon quarterfinals

KATRINA ADAMS
Born: August 5, 1968, Chicago, Ill.
Resides: White Plains, N.Y.

  • Began serving a two-year term as Vice President on the USTA Board of Directors in January 2011. Previously, she served three consecutive two-year terms as a Director at Large, from 2005-09. She is also on the board of USTA Serves.
  • Currently works as a television analyst for Tennis Channel and serves as Executive Director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program in New York City... Iis also a contributor to Tennis magazine and tennis.com, providing instructional articles and videos.
  • Played for 12 years on the WTA Tour, where she was ranked as high as No. 67 in singles and No. 8 in doubles... Captured 20 career doubles title.
  • While a player, served on the WTA Tour’s Board of Directors as a player representative for four one-year terms and on the WTA Tour’s Players Association for five two-year terms... She also served on the WTA Tour’s Anti-Doping Committee, Players Committee, Executive Committee and Special Olympics Committee
  • Was honored with the WTA’s Player Service Award in 1996 and 1997.
  • After her retirement from the pro tour, served from 1999-2002 as a USTA National Coach for USTA Player Development, where she helped to develop some of the nation’s top players.
  • Has been active in several non-profit organizations, including the Zina Garrison All-Court Tennis Academy, the MaliVai Washington Foundation and the Althea Gibson Foundation.
  • Attended Northwestern University as an undergraduate, majoring in Communications, and helped the Wildcats to Big Ten Championships in 1986 and 1987... Was an NCAA All-American in 1986 and 1987 and became the first African-American NCAA Doubles Champion in 1987.
  • A Chicago native, Adams was inducted into the Northwestern Hall of Fame in 1998, the USTA Midwest Section Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Chicago District Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008.
  • Started playing tennis at age six in the public parks recreation program sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Boys Club.


LESLIE ALLEN
Born: March 12, 1957, Cleveland
Resides: New York, N.Y.

  • Founder/Director of Champion 4 Life, an organization dedicated to mentoring and exposing inner-city youth to new environments and opportunities and, through tennis, expanding their lives.
  • Former tournament director for the U.S. Women’s Hardcourt Championships, 1994-95… Kraft World Tour event manager for the WTA Tour, 1990-93.
  • In 1981, became the first black woman since Althea Gibson in 1958 to win a notable title by defeating Hana Mandlikova in the final of the Avon Championships of Detroit… Won five pro championships in 10-year career as a player (1 singles, 4 doubles).
  • Elected vice president of WITA Board of Directors for 1982-83 term and again for 1983-84.
  • Was member of the USC NCAA championship team.
  • Won the American Tennis Association national championship in 1977.


CAMILLE BENJAMIN
Born: June 22, 1966
Resides: Bakersville, Calif.

  • In 1984 at the French Open, became the first African-American woman since Althea Gibson in 1958 to reach the semifinals at one of the four major championships... Quarterfinalist in doubles at the same tournament.
  • Nation’s No. 1 junior girl in the 16-and-under age group in 1981... Ranked No. 6 in national 14-and-under rankings in 1980… Ranked No. 6 in national 12-and-under rankings in 1978.
  • Both parents originally came from Panama, where Camille’s grandparents helped build the Panama Canal.


MEGAN BRADLEY

Born: March 26, 1983, in Columbia, Mo.
Resides: Miami, Fla.

  • Reached career-high rankings in both singles (No. 313) and doubles (No. 221) in 2006.
  • Graduated from the University of Miami in May 2005 with a degree in Sports Administration... Earned All-America honors in both singles and doubles her senior year... Turned in a 44-2 record her senior year in 2004-05, a UM single season record, highlighted by a 39-match win streak that lasted from Oct. 8 until May 24. She lost just three sets during the win streak.
  • Ended the 2004-05 season ranked No. 1 in the ITA national singles rankings and No. 6 in doubles (with Audrey Banada)... Was named the ITA National Player and Senior Player of the Year, the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and the ACC/UM Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year... Was also named the Most Outstanding Student in the School of Education's Sports Administration Program and was a UM graduation commencement speaker... Graduated with a 3.50 cumulative grade point average and was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team for District III.
  • Was named to the 2005 USA Tennis Collegiate Summer Team, an elite training program for the top American collegiate tennis players.
  • Captured the singles title at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November 2004 – is the second African American woman to win a national singles title (joining California’s Raquel Kops-Jones).
  • Reached the NCAA singles semifinals in 2003 as a junior.
  • Prior to Miami, was selected as a freshman All-American at UCLA in 2001-02, when she reached the NCAA doubles final as a freshman and was named ITA National Rookie of the Year.
  • Is a former No. 1 in the country in the girls' 18s division (2001) and girls’ 16 division (1999)
  • Father, Phil, played major league baseball for seven years and was the first African-American quarterback at the University of Missouri.


ZINA GARRISON

Born: November 16, 1963, Houston
Resides: Houston

  • Was the U.S. Fed Cup captain from 2003-08, succeeding Billie Jean King... Was the 18th U.S. Fed Cup captain since the competition began in 1963 and the first African-American captain in the competition’s history.
  • As a player, Garrison competed for the United States in Fed Cup for eight years (1984-87, 1989-91, 1994), posting a 22-5 record (7-4 singles, 15-1 doubles) in 23 ties.
  • Elected to serve on the USTA Board of Directors for the 2002-2003 term.
  • Served as assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic team in Sydney, Australia, and helped Coach Billie Jean King guide Venus Williams to gold-medal performances in women’s singles and doubles with sister Serena Williams.
  • Served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Fed Cup team, and in 1999, helped Captain Billie Jean King lead the team to a record 16th Fed Cup championship... Also served as assistant coach in the team's championship run in 2000, as the U.S. won the Fed Cup for a 17th time.
  • Retired from a 15-year career on the professional tour in 1996… Won 37 pro championships (14 singles, 20 doubles, 3 mixed doubles).
  • In 1990 at Wimbledon, became the first African-American woman to reach the final of one of the four major championships of tennis since Althea Gibson won Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships in 1958… Defeated Monica Seles and Steffi Graf in succession before losing to Martina Navratilova in the final. (No African-American woman reached a major championship final again until Venus Williams in 1997 at the US Open.)
  • Became the first African-American to win an Olympic tennis medal when she captured the gold medal in doubles (with Pam Shriver) and the bronze medal in singles at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.
  • Founded the Zina Garrison Foundation to provide funds and support for the homeless, youth organizations, anti-drug groups and other charitable groups… Founded the Zina Garrison All-Court Tennis program to give inner-city children the opportunity to build self-esteem and learn about themselves through tennis.
  • Awarded the Tennis Educational Merit Award by the board of directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1993… Received the inaugural Family Circle Magazine Player Who Makes a Difference Award in 1992.
  • Won the Wimbledon and US Open junior singles titles in 1981.
  • Began playing tennis at age 10 and was the first black female to be ranked No. 1 in the Texas region.


JAMEA JACKSON
Born: Sept. 8, 1986, in Atlanta
Resides: Bradenton, Fla.

  • After a successful pro career, turned her attention to coaching and is in her second year as assistant coach at Oklahoma State University, where she helped Head Coach Chris Young guide the school to its best finish in three years in 2010... Also served as coach of the 2010 USTA Women's Summer Collegiate Team.
  • A recurring hip injury prematurely ended Jackson's prol career, which saw her ranked as high as No. 45 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
  • Her best year as a pro was in 2006, when she defeated Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic en route to her only Tour-level singles final appearance at Eastbourne... That year, she made her Fed Cup debut and reached the third round of all four Grand Slams.
  • Made tennis history when she became the first player to use electronic line calling to challenge a call when the system made its debut in Miami.
  • Father, Ernest, is a former NFL cornerback.


CHERYL JONES

Born: May 3, 1964
Resides: Los Angeles

  • Is one-half of an incomparable intercollegiate brother-sister tandem.
  • Was a member of the 1984 USC team that was runner-up in the NCAA Team Championships and was No. 2 in the college rankings.
  • Brother, Jerome, was an All-American at Pepperdine University in 1984 and won the NCAA doubles title with Kelly Jones (no relation).


LORI McNEIL
Born: Dec. 18, 1963, San Diego
Resides: Houston

  • Is a National Coach for women's tennis on the USTA Player Development staff in Boca Raton, Fla.... Joined the USTA staff in 2004 after working for three years at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md.
  • Played 19 years on the WTA Tour (1984-2002), reaching a career-high singles ranking of No. 9 in the summer of 1988.
  • Played professionally on the WTA Tour for 17 years and reached career-high rankings of No. 8 in singles and No. 4 in doubles... Won 12 singles titles and 40 doubles titles over the course of her career, including a mixed doubles championship at the French Open... Also recorded semifinals appearances in singles at both Wimbledon and the US Open.
  • Served as personal coach for Amanda Coetzer for three years and was an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic team in both 2004 and 2008.
  • Represented the U.S. for three years in Fed Cup competition.
  • In 1994 at Wimbledon, became the first woman to beat the defending champion of one of the four major championships in the first round when she upset No. 1 Steffi Graf, 7-5, 7-6.
  • Played collegiately at Oklahoma State University, where she was named an All-American after her sophomore year.
  • Serves as chair of the Lori McNeil Foundation, which raises money for youth tennis programs in Bermuda.


SHADISHA ROBINSON
Born: July 12, 1985, in New York City
Resides in Boca Raton, Fla.

  • Competed at the University of Georgia, where she majored in communications.
  • In the 2004-05 season, earned All-America honors in singles and doubles and a final ITA national ranking of No. 1 in doubles with Caroline Basu... Posted a school record 28-4 mark with Basu... In 2005, went 32-15 in singles and was ranked as high as a career-best fourth nationally.
  • Earned ITA All-America honors during the 2003-04 season as a freshman in doubles... Finished at No. 31 in singles rankings.
  • Was ranked among the top 10 U.S. junior players from 1999-2003, including as high as No. 2 in the USTA girls' 14s in 2000, No. 4 in the USTA girls' 16s in 2001 and No. 9 in the USTA girls' 18s in 2002
  • Reached the doubles final (with Tory Zawacki) at the 2002 US Open Junior Championships.
  • Moved to Florida to train at the Evert Academy from South Ozone Park, N.Y., in January 2000.
  • Represented the United States in the 1999 World Junior Tennis competition, the ITF's official team championship for junior players 14-and-under... Won the 1999 USTA Girls’ 14s National Clay Court Championship and the 1999 USTA Girls 14s National Indoor Doubles title with Jessi Robinson (no relation).
 
CHANDA RUBIN
Born: Feb. 18, 1976, Lafayette, La.
Resides: Lafayette, La.
  • Began serving a first two-year term as a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors in January 2011.
  • Enjoyed a productive 16-year career as a professional, advancing to the quarterfinals or better at four Grand Slam events and rising to career-best rankings of No. 6 in singles and No. 10 in doubles... Overall, won seven tour singles titles and 10 tour doubles titles, including the 1996 Australian Open with Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.
  • In 1995, was named the Most Improved Player by the WTA and the American Tennis Association Athlete of the Year. The following year she received the USTA Female Athlete of the Year Award.
  • Was also a member of the U.S. Fed Cup and Olympic teams, going 8-3 in her career in Fed Cup play and competing in the Summer Games in 1996 and 2004... Also competed for the U.S. in the Pan American Games in 1995 and won the U.S.’s first-ever Hopman Cup in 1997 (with Justin Gimelstob).
  • Was an accomplished junior player, winning the Wimbledon girls’ singles title and rising to No. 2 in the world junior rankings in 1992.
  • Off the court, has been active in philanthropic causes, including the Children’s Museum, the American Heart Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation, the Breast Cancer Association and the United Negro College Fund...  She hosted an annual tennis clinic in New Orleans for 1,500 children and, in 1998, established the Chanda Rubin Tennis and Scholarship Foundation, which provides funding for youth playing opportunities and scholarships. In partnership with the foundation, she sponsored and helped create a circuit of ITF junior tournaments throughout the United States, which is now a part of the USTA/ITF junior circuit.
  • Was honored for her philanthropic work in 2008 with the International Lawn Tennis Danzig Trophy and the Gene Scott Renaissance Award, in addition to receiving the 2003 USTA Service Bowl Award and the 2002 Family Circle/Hormel Foods Player Who Makes a Difference Award. In 1997, she received the prestigious Arthur Ashe Leadership Award for her commitment to community involvement and her efforts with programs that benefit children, and in 1996 she was recognized for her work with the Louisiana Special Olympics.
  • Is a member of the USTA Southern Section, which inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 2009.


KIM SANDS

Born: Oct. 11, 1956
Resides: Miami, Fla.

  • Played professionally in the late 1970s through early 1980s… Achieved a career-best ranking of No. 44 in April 1984.
  • Sponsored on pro tour by former heavyweight boxing champion Leon Spinks.
  • First African-American woman to receive a scholarship to the University of Miami, where she was captain of the tennis team.


CAROL WATSON

Born: July 5, 1961
Resides: St. Albans, N.Y.

  • Served as a USA Tennis National Coach at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., working with 14-and-under junior girls... First worked on the USTA national coaching staff in 1993.
  • Ranked in the top 180 in the world in singles and the top 130 in the world in doubles from 1979-81.
 
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