USTA Missouri Valley Announces 2022 Hall of Fame Class and Annual Conference
USTA Missouri Valley is excited to announce its 2022 Annual Conference and Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
The 2022 Annual Conference will once again be at the Olathe Conference Center in Olathe, Kan. on December 2-3, with the Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Celebration taking place on Saturday, December 3. The Hall of Fame Class of 2022 features three new inductees: Larry Newton of Omaha, Neb., Jean Larrick of Springfield, Mo. and the late Mary Greef Harris of Kansas City, Mo.
Newton is a true legend in the junior tennis world. He is currently using his vast knowledge and expertise to serve the USTA National Local Play and Competition Committee as its Vice Chair. He also received national recognition in 2021 for his contributions to junior tennis when he was named Racquet Sports Industry’s Junior Tennis Champion of the Year.
Newton has spent the past 36 years volunteering his time to help grow the game of tennis through various avenues: as a tournament director, official or serving on district, section and national boards. He started playing tennis as a 14-year-old and took a job as a clay court attendant at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa when he was 15. That eventually evolved into a teaching position and a successful playing career, including two years on Oklahoma State University’s varsity tennis team.
One of his greatest contributions to USTA Nebraska is his creation of “Farm Team Competitions,” which fed high-level junior players into the Nebraska Competition Training Center, while also providing second-tier players non-elimination competitions each week. He also started the Nebraska Junior High School State Tournament.
Larrick grew up in Decatur, Ill. and has been playing tennis for more than 65 years. While she didn’t have the opportunity to play high school tennis because there were no girls sports teams in the late 1960s, she did play college tennis at Millikin University for one year and Missouri State University for three years. Her 1977 team at MSU won the MIAA Conference Championship and AIAW Regional Championship and competed in the AIAW Women’s Championships, finishing in the top 20.
Over the course of her extensive playing career, Larrick has won more than 200 titles in singles, doubles and mixed competitions. Among her career highlights are representing USTA Western on the Junior Wightman Cup team, finishing in fourth place at the USTA National 35 Women’s Doubles Clay Court Championships and winning multiple National Public Parks Tennis Championships.
Outside of playing, Larrick has been an International Certified Teaching Professional with Professional Tennis Registry for more than 30 years. She has also served on multiple USTA Missouri Valley and USTA National committees.
Greef Harris was a true pioneer of women’s tennis. She grew up in Kansas City, Mo. in the early 1900s. Tennis was really only a summer sport during her youth because there were no indoor tennis courts at the time. After high school, Greef Harris earned a scholarship to play tennis at the University of Southern California.
She won the 1931 singles and doubles championships in the National Intercollegiate Women Championships - now the NCAA Championships. She was a three-time quarterfinalist at the US National (now US Open) in 1929, 1930 and 1932. She also was a member of the 1930 Wightman Cup Team, alongside Helen Willis Moody, Helen Jacobs, Sarah Palfrey and Edith Cross.
In 1981, she was inducted into the Kansas City Sports Hall of Champions. She was then posthumously inducted into the USTA Heart of America Hall of Fame in 2018. Greef Harris passed away in 2002 at the age of 91.
Please join us to celebrate our three new inductees and all award winners at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, December 3. Click here for more information and to register.