USTA MID-ATLANTIC FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2023 HALL OF FAME
USTA MID-ATLANTIC FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2023 HALL OF FAME
Frances Tiafoe and renown tennis visionaries, leaders and players to be honored at Centennial Gala
Celebrating 100 Years of Promoting and Growing Tennis in the Mid-Atlantic
Herndon, Va., (October 10, 2023) – The USTA Mid-Atlantic Foundation is pleased to announce the 2023 Hall of Fame Class being inducted during the nonprofit’s Centennial celebration year. Eight new USTA Mid-Atlantic Hall of Fame members will be honored during the Centennial Gala presented by Trustar Bank on Dec. 1 in Washington, D.C. Some of the region’s most storied and accomplished individuals - including Frances Tiafoe - will be inducted at the gala – the culminating event of a year-long celebration that salutes the impact of tennis, its rich history and those who have paved the way for the game to have the impact it has today.
With the likes of such tennis visionaries and leaders as Arthur Ashe and Donald Dell, Pam Shriver and Mark Ein, the USTA Mid-Atlantic Tennis Hall of Fame is a prestigious group of individuals with significant achievements and contributions to the sport. In the last 35 years, 78 have been inducted to the USTA Mid-Atlantic Hall of Fame.
These inductees, the first in 10 years, have been selected for their significant achievements in tennis as outstanding players or contributors to the growth of the sport in the region and beyond.
The USTA Mid-Atlantic Hall of Fame Class of 2023 are:
Gustavo "Gus" Castillo, a tennis stalwart for nearly six decades, started humbly as a ball boy in Bogota. Rising to become Colombia's top junior and senior player, he represented the nation in the Davis Cup three times. Gus remains a dedicated competitor and teaching professional, embodying enduring dedication to tennis.
Page Crosland, a tennis advocate since the '80s, championed tennis accessibility, notably securing Arthur Ashe Stadium's name in 1997. Her influential role included advocacy, promoting tennis, and organizing impactful events with key figures.
David Crossland's tennis journey, inspired by his mother Page Crosland and St. Albans School coach Allie Ritzenberg, involved extensive volunteering and management roles at the US Open, USTA and USTA Mid-Atlantic. His excellence in various leadership roles for 20+ years epitomizes his commitment and love for tennis.
Vicki Datlow, a pioneering female leader, worked with the nation’s top coaches to establish and manage renowned tennis academies during a career spanning 50 years. Vicki’s influence extended through growing tennis programs and facilities leaving a lasting impact on the tennis community. She began her tennis journey in Baltimore rising to the highest levels in the USTA Mid-Atlantic and junior national competition before playing varsity tennis at powerhouse Rollins College.
Sara Fornaciari, a pioneer in sports marketing for more than 50 years, broke barriers as the first female sports agent/attorney. She represented tennis and golf legends, founded Sports+Plus, and made an enduring impact on tennis through promoting tournaments, charity events, and fundraising for nonprofits. Still full of energy, Fornaciari's dedication keeps tennis thriving.
Joni Hannah, a tennis player who excelled from a young age, won USTA national championships in the Girls' 14 and Under Nationals and the Sugar Bowl. Her tennis career spans decades, and as top player on the women’s senior tennis circuit she achieved remarkable No. 1 national rankings in singles and doubles, and No. 7 world ranking in singles. As the Director of Tennis at Westwood Country Club for 25 years, Joni earned esteemed teaching professional awards, making history as the first female in the USPTA Mid-Atlantic Hall of Fame.
Jim Thompson, leading Virginia Tech men's tennis since '98, marked 15 postseasons and 24 NCAA singles/doubles qualifications. His impact expands beyond college success, including pioneering wheelchair tennis in Blacksburg, Virginia and currently serves as the Chairman of the ITA Atlantic Region.
Frances Tiafoe, a rising tennis star born to Sierra Leonean parents in Maryland in 1998, epitomizes resilience. Starting tennis at age 4, guided by his father, he's now a prominent ATP player and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 10 in the world. Notably defeating Rafael Nadal at the 2022 US Open and triumphing at the 2022 and 2023 Laver Cup, Tiafoe's journey offers hope and inspiration, demonstrating the transformative power of grassroots tennis.
“This year’s Hall of Fame Class exemplifies the breadth and depth of tennis impact in our community and how it reaches far beyond the Mid-Atlantic,” says Shaza Andersen USTA Mid-Atlantic Gala Chair and Founder and CEO of Trustar Bank. “Tennis continues to thrive in our region along with every individual and community that the sport touches. As the sport has evolved so has USTA Mid-Atlantic as a philanthropic organization. Now, we look forward to the next 100 years of tennis, further strengthening the mission to grow and increase access to the sport and most importantly using the power of tennis to change lives. The grand finale to the year-long celebration – the Centennial Gala – will enable us to raise unprecedented support to succeed in an ambitious vision forward for tennis in EVERY community.”
To view full bio information for the HOF inductees, visit: Introducing the 2023 Hall of Fame Class
For more information on The Centennial Gala and how to become involved visit: www.usta.com/centennialcelebration
About USTA Mid-Atlantic Foundation:
USTA Mid-Atlantic Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Our mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis in EVERY community. Since 1923, USTA Mid-Atlantic Foundation’s mission to grow the sport has not wavered and remains more relevant than ever. With more than 1.3 million people playing tennis today in the Mid-Atlantic and another 1 million people interested, USTA Mid-Atlantic is leading the way to increase access to the sport and chart a course for the next 100 years of tennis.