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Southern

Talking Tennis Southern Style podcast

Ron Cioffi | April 08, 2021

Talking Baseball & Tennis with Chipper Jones

April 8, 2021

Sports experts agree that playing more than one sport improves an athlete’s performance. We’ve got two baseball standouts talking about their love of tennis. Not many Atlanta Braves players are better known than Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, who is now playing mixed doubles with his wife, Taylor Higgins Jones. He says his court time is keeping him in shape as he works on speeding up his serve. Also, chatting about two sports is Tres Gonzalez, Georgia Tech’s left fielder. Gonzalez, son of Truist Atlanta Open Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez, had the talent to play tennis on the college level. Pro tennis comes to Charleston and we interview Volvo Car Open Tournament Director Bob Moran. We highlight USTA Southern’s Mac MacDougal Official of the Year Karen Badger-Mabry, of Grayson, GA.


March 25, 2021

USTA Southern celebrates the winners of our 2020 awards. Louisiana’s Bossier City and Shreveport won four awards. Rhonda Rubben is the president of the Northwest Louisiana Community Tennis Association that won the CTA award and chats about its successful programs and the other award winners. Heading up the NJTL Chapter of the Year winner – the Rising Stars of Kentucky in Louisville – are Charles Crawford (also 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Champion) and Bruce Stone. Rising Stars focuses on education, a top goal for all successful NJTLs. Our health benefit of tennis explains how the sport works as a stress reliever. Another award winner is Amy Brandon, of Mooresville, NC, who received the Marilyn Sherman Spirit Award. Our highlighted junior is Peter Smith III, of Dorchester, SC.

 

March 11, 2021
Women’s History Month is celebrated by chatting with three ground-breaking women. Former USTA Southern Presidents & CEOs Bonnie Vandegrift & Paula Hale talk together about their paths to leading the USTA’s largest section and their roots working with USTA North Carolina. In another interview Lucy Garvin, who also served as USTA Chairman of the Board, goes into detail about heading American tennis on the national and international stages. We highlight 9-year-old Addy Shepard, Jonesboro, AR, who has had to face her older sister, Emma, in a junior tournament. 2020 USTA Southern No-Cut Starfish Award winner is Memphis, TN’s Tony Cherone is profiled.


Feb. 25, 2021
Our two interviews feature Black History Month. Dr. Harriet Kimbro-Hamilton is currently an Associate Professor at Tennessee State University. At Fisk University, she spent 13 years as Head Coach, Associate Athletic Director and Athletic Director. She has received three national awards from the Women’s Sports Foundation, the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport when given the Dr. Nell C. Jackson Award, and inducted into the Temple University League for Entrepreneurial Women Hall of Fame. She wrote Daddy's Scrapbook, Henry Kimbro of the Negro Baseball League, A Daughter's Perspective, about her father’s life as a Negro League baseball player and a successful African-American businessman. Alan Green is the most successful coach in the nearly 100-year history of Xavier University of Louisiana. He is a three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Coach of the Year, winning the men's award in 2017 and 2016 and the women's award in 2013. Highlighted are Cole Camp of the University of Alabama who won the 2020 USTA Southern Wheelchair Excellence Award and junior Davis Taylor of Brookhaven, GA.

 

Feb. 11, 2021
USTA, Director, Player Development Martin Blackman
 gives us insight into the 2021 Australian Open field, focusing on American players. Blackman, who reached a career-high ATP ranking of No. 158, joined us last year to preview the US Open. One of the top USTA Southern volunteers - who served as Secretary and USTA Georgia President - is Marcy Hirshberg, of Johns Creek, GA. She was honored with the Racquet Sports Industry magazine’s 2020 Adaptive Tennis Champion of the Year. Hirshberg serves as Vice Chair of the USTA Adaptive Tennis Committee. We are highlighting junior McLean Murray, of Lookout Mountain, TN, and USTA Southern Director of Diversity, NJTL & Grants Cee Jai Jones, the welcoming voice that starts our podcast.

 

Jan. 28, 2021
We go to the top with an in-depth interview from recently elected USTA Southern President & CEO Randy Jackson, of Fort Smith, AR. Randy describes his goals for 2021, including focusing on growing tennis in public parks. He also talks about supporting the section’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee as we move into Black History Month. In our second segment, Alexandria Agee of Bigger Picture Sports serves the Black community in Atlanta with personalized activism messaging on tennis racquets. Highlighted are junior Ansley Carpenter, of Newnan, GA, and USTA Kentucky Senior Manager of USTA Adult Leagues Kathy Klein.

 

Jan. 14, 2021
Coach Kenny Thorne, men’s tennis coach of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, talks about the influence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the creation of the MLK Invitational Tournament. Thorne, the winningest tennis coach in Georgia Tech history and former No. 121 player in the world, also spoke about his players having Election Day off to vote and other socially conscious initiatives. Torrey Hawkins of the Atlanta Youth Tennis and Education Foundation and Atlanta Police Officer Clayton Sanders join the MLK Holiday edition of Talking Tennis Southern Style

 

 

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