Middle States

Tennis, Treasures & TV

Volunteer Becky Desmond

Antique Roadshow

Tennis, Treasures & TV


Tennis, Treasures & TV


Becky Desmond spent 50-plus years teaching art at Downingtown West High School. So when the long-time tennis coach, player and volunteer sees value in a piece of jewelry, her artistic eyes are rarely wron


That was proven recently when she brought a piece of her treasured tennis jewelry to an episode of the PBS hit show, Antique Roadshow.


“It was maybe the most organized thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Desmond said. 


Desmond has been interested in antiquing for decades and used to take day trips with her husband to find unique pieces. In the early 1990s, she was attending an antique show in Fort Washington, Pa. when she saw a tennis necklace.


“It caught my eye right away,” she said. “I had to have it.”


Years later and always a fan of Antique Roadshow, Desmond learned the show would be making an appearance in Delaware. ADVERTISEMENT She thought about the many pieces in her collection that might be of interest, and she settled on the tennis necklace. 


The necklace caught the attention of the show’s producers, and she was invited to attend the filming. During the event, the on-air talent interviewed Desmond and taught her more about the piece.


“They were able to tell me things about the piece that I hadn’t known,” she said. “There was a lot of whispering between the staff as they were talking about it. My knees started knocking.”


The piece was valued well above what she paid for it years ago (you’ll have to watch to find out the details) and Desmond was happy with what she learned. 


She doesn’t plan on parting with the jewelry, but appreciated the opportunity to learn more about it and better understand its history and value. 


Desmond is well-known in the Philadelphia area as a high school coach and volunteer. What many don’t realize is her incredible impact as an educator. Desmond began teaching art in the fall of 1961, and soon after, she began coaching. She coached high school tennis for more than 40 seasons. In her time coaching girls’ and boys’ tennis teams, her teams won 15 local championships. She was a representative on the PIAA coaches council for nearly 15 years, helped author a book, and earned countless honors along the way.


While she’s no longer teaching art, she continues to find ways to make her impact on the tennis court. And of course, she’ll keep an eye out for antiques.


“Antique Roadshow was so much fun, and such a great experience,” she said. “I would definitely suggest it to anyone interested.”


Desmond is one of many volunteers to have served in USTA leadership through the years. Currently, USTA Middle States is accepting applications for its Board of Directors and its six District Councils. Learn more, and apply, here.


Related Articles