Meet The 2019
Hall of Fame Class
October 9, 2019
The United States Tennis Association Missouri Valley is proud to announce its 2019 Hall of Fame inductees. This year, USTA Missouri Valley is recognizing three individuals who have served the game of tennis through their high level of play, committed coaching, dedication to volunteerism and passion for improving the game.
The honorees are Kilmeny Waterman Connor of Overland Park, Kansas, Craig Sandvig of University City, Missouri, and Pam Sloan of Stockton, California (originally from Kansas City, Missouri).
The three new members of the USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame will be inducted during the USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame and Awards Luncheon on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at the Olathe Conference Center in Olathe, Kansas.
Kilmeny Waterman Connor has excelled in the tennis world since her early years as a player, and still today as a teacher, coach, and organizer of tennis. ADVERTISEMENT As a junior player, Kilmeny maintained a USTA national ranking along with becoming the 1980 Missouri State High School Girls Singles Champion. Her success continued as a scholarship varsity player for #5 ranked NCAA Division I Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Following graduation, Kilmeny competed for three years on the Women’s Professional Tennis Circuit, attaining a WTA world ranking in both singles and doubles tennis, and would later win three gold, seven silver and three bronze balls competing in Mother-Daughter national tournaments with her mother Jennifer Waterman.
As her career as a player continued, Connor also began a lengthy coaching career, taking positions at City College of San Francisco, the University of Wyoming, and most notably the University of Kansas, where she would become the 2002 Big 12 Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year as well as the 2002 Central Region Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year. Along with her career as a player and coach, Kilmeny also impacted tennis in her various roles coordinating, teaching, and directing junior tennis at local clubs and academies along with being intricately involved in many committees and charitable foundations for local tennis, collegiate tennis, and most notably her family’s foundation known as the Stephanie Waterman Foundation. These charitable contributions would earn her many awards including the Salute to Women in Tennis Award in 1998.
Craig Sandvig’s impact on St. Louis area tennis is second to none, as exemplified by both his notable career and also the way each of his players and colleagues speak so highly of him. Growing up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sandvig was a top-ranked USTA Northern junior player, representing his section in the Junior Davis Cup Competition and his high school as a five-time state champion. Sandvig continued to excel as both a student and a tennis player at the University of Iowa before he went on to play on the European Pro Circuit. In 1971, Sandvig retired his tennis career and moved to St. Louis in order to pursue his graduate degree at Washington University, where he would also become Head Coach of the men’s tennis team.
Six years later, Sandvig and good friend Doug Smith started up a nationally recognized tennis facility known as Sunset Tennis Center, where he has remained for over 40 years. As a top coach and USPTA Elite Pro for 30+ years, Sandvig would coach ten state high school champions, many nationally ranked junior players and future Division I college tennis players, along with district, section, and national championship-earning USTA adult teams. During this time, he would also take a trip to Nairobi, Kenya to deliver tennis supplies to local youth and put on a two-week tennis camp. His coaching efforts were rewarded as he was named the USPTA Missouri Valley Missouri Pro of the Year in 2001, USTA Tennis National Recognition Program All-American Team in 2003, and USTA Missouri Valley Outstanding Contributor to the USTA League Tennis Program in 2005. Over the course of his career, Sandvig has also served USTA Missouri Valley and USTA St. Louis extensively, earning five USTA St. Louis Awards including the 2013 Distinguished Service Award.
Pam Sloan’s legacy is that of a life deeply interconnected with volunteerism, a passion for tennis, and dedication to grassroots tennis and introducing young people to tennis. Sloan’s passion for tennis was sparked when she began playing as a teenager, and then further set ablaze as an adult working in the Parks and Recreation system when she was sent to a tennis workshop in Dallas. Little did Sloan know, this tennis workshop would move her to dedicate her career to growing the game tennis. Since then, Sloan has successfully fought to restore tennis within the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, with the results of her work drawing in thousands of players, several NJTL programs, and many junior and adult tournaments. A standout accomplishment during this period is her successful formation of an NJTL program that would see 1200 children, many of which would go on to play tennis in high school, college, and even professionally.
Sloan has served at every level within USTA Missouri Valley, most notably as a two-term President from 1999-2002. A few of her nine service-based awards from USTA Missouri Valley, USTA, or her work in the Parks and Recreation system include the “Outstanding Service Award” from USTA for her NJTL work, the “Distinguished Service Award” from USTA Missouri Valley, and the “Exceptional Service Award” from Kansas City Parks and Recreation. In 2004, Sloan’s profession carried her to California to become the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Stockton, and her commitment to tennis stayed true as she quickly became involved in several committees and as a national USTA and USTA Northern California Board Member. Along with staying intricately involved with her local USTA section, Sloan has also served extensively for USTA nationally—in the past 25+ years, she has served on 27 national committees, task forces, or projects. Sloan has used her career as a consultant and within the Parks and Recreation systems to promote the game of tennis and carry on the mission of making tennis accessible in public parks everywhere, with her work in this field being crowned in 2016 when she was awarded the National Public Parks Tennis Association Jean and Hollis Smith Lifetime Achievement Award.