USTA New England Inducts Hall of Fame Class of 2017
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USTA NEW ENGLAND INDUCTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017
NEWPORT, RI- USTA New England inducted four members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2017 on Saturday, June 10 at a ceremony at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI. New England legends Lisa Albano-Fu, Chris Holmes, Paul Shaw and Jerry Albrikes were celebrated for their outstanding lifetime achievements and contributions to the game, and their legacies will now be enshrined in tennis history.
“Our four inductees this year have all achieved greatness in tennis and have contributed to the game in unique ways. While each has left his or her own mark on New England tennis, all their accomplishments have been substantial and influential in growing the game,” said Scott Steinberg, USTA New England President and CEO.
The USTA New England Hall of Fame exists to recognize those tennis players and non-players in New England whose achievements as sportsmen or sportswomen are worthy of the highest commendation and recognition, or whose contributions as officials or individuals in a tennis-related activity have been so outstanding over a significant period of time as to justify the highest commendation and recognition.
Nearly 200 guests, including USTA National and New England Board members, past Hall of Fame inductees and friends and family of the incoming class, were in attendance for the 28th annual enshrinement.
Clare “Bunnie” Lahey was also honored at the ceremony with the Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award, USTA New England’s lifetime achievement honor and most prestigious individual award.
USTA New England Class of 2017
Paul Shaw, Norwell, MA, presented by longtime doubles partner, Rob Miller
Paul spent his childhood learning tennis in Europe and came to the US in college when he played for Tufts University. He has been playing USTA New England Tournaments for the past 40 years and has held top rankings in every major division. He’s compiled 15 No. 1 New England rankings in singles and doubles throughout seven age divisions and also achieved four top-10 national rankings in doubles and father/son. He captained and competed on numerous Friendship Cup and Atlantic Coast Cup teams and picked up a Bronze Ball at the National Father/Son Indoor Championships with his son Will.
“It was a tremendous honor. The night made you realize the journey of tennis and how it crosses a lifetime, the values it imposes and the friendships you make through it,” Shaw said. “Also, hearing everyone’s story and how they’re all fairly similar in terms of importance and value of tennis that goes beyond the court, was incredible.”
Jerry Albrikes, Daniel Island SC, presented by former college teammate Chris Gaudreau
Jerry was a two-time Class M State Champion for St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, CT in 1986 and 1987 and played collegiately at Central Connecticut State University. Following college, he held a top ranking in singles, doubles and mixed and consistently played New England tournaments until 2010, when he and his family moved to South Carolina. He captained multiple Church Cup teams and played in the Talbert Cup. Albrikes has led multiple Intersectional teams and Women’s USTA League Nationals team, coached the girls program at Lauralton Hall in Milford, CT and served as an assistant at his alma mater, CCSU.
“This was a tremendous honor. Chris did a great job presenting me and we’re still teammates after all these years,” Albriikes said. “For all people that have reached out and met with me over the years, this is for them. I appreciate that all my hard work has been noticed, and I’m excited now that I get to come back to this great event every year.”
Chris Holmes, Harvard, MA, presented by doubles partner Wade Frame
Chris has had remarkable success competing in New England adult tournaments. In 1990, he achieved his first New England No. 1 singles ranking and has remained at the top in all age divisions up through the 55s. With partner and Class of 2016 inductee, Wade Frame, Chris has achieved doubles success as well, reaching No. 1 in multiple age divisions and a No. 5 national ranking. Chris says some of his most proud memories as a player are winning the Atlantic Coast Cup in 2005, New England’s first victory in the tournament, and reaching the semifinals of the Father/Daughter National Grass Courts in 2008.
“It was an honor I did not ever expect. It’s still a little strange and doesn’t seem quite right to be in the same class with so many of these greats before me, but it’s very nice to be there,” Holmes said. “We all kind of know each other from all being involved in New England tennis, so it’s a neat evening to see a lot of friends here and enjoy the night.”
Lisa Albano-Fu, Andover, MA, presented by friend, coworker and mixed doubles partner Adam Molda
Lisa’s 35-year tennis career started as a junior, where she became the No. 1 player in New England in the Girls’ 18s division while recording a top-10 national ranking. She went on to play for the University of California Berkeley where she was a four-time All-American and reached the national singles final in 1991. She followed up her successful college career by achieving top rankings once again- this time as the No. 1 adult player in Northern California in 1997 and 1998. Currently retired from on-court competition, Albano-Fu resides in Andover, MA and focuses on her two sons’ successful junior careers and her job coaching at Cedardale Health and Fitness in Haverhill, MA.
“It was a great night and was really nice to be inducted. It was wonderful hearing about the other inductees and their lives in tennis, and it was a really special night,” Albano-Fu said. “This group of family here was pretty much who we traveled with as junior players, so it was nice to see have them all together again.”
Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award
Clare “Bunnie” Lahey, Lee, MA
Bunnie has been an advocate for equality in tennis and growing the game at a grassroots level her entire life. From her early days in Virginia fighting for women’s rights to use the same courts as men to her no-cut high school team she coached for 10 years, she has. In 1985, she founded the Lee CTA, which serves more than 100 kids and 200 adults each year throughout Berkshire County. In 1992, Bunnie received one of her most meaningful awards to date, the National Eve Kraft Community Service Award, named after her mentor. Bunnie has also been an active member of either the USTANE or USTA WMA Board since 1991.
“At first you look back and think, am I supposed to be retired to win this lifetime achievement award? And then I thought, no, maybe I just have some experience that can help for the future, and I’m honored to be recognized for that,” Lahey said.
To view more photos from the event, click here.
About USTA New England
USTA New England, one of 17 regional sections across the country that comprise the United States Tennis Association (USTA), is a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting and developing the growth of tennis and increasing participation in the sport in New England by offering quality recreational and competitive programs for people of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit www.ustanewengland.com.