Tennis Pioneers Eugene Scott & Eve Kraft To Be Inducted into Tennis Industry Hall of Fame
Journalist & player Scott and community tennis visionary Kraft to be honored at 9th Annual TIA Tennis Forum on Aug. 29 in New York City.
Tennis journalist and player Eugene Scott and community tennis pioneer Eve Kraft will be the 2016 inductees into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. Both will be inducted posthumously at a ceremony in New York, during the TIA Tennis Forum on Aug. 29.
To attend the ninth annual TIA Tennis Forum, which is a free event presented by the Tennis Industry Association, register at TennisIndustry.org/forum. At the Forum, top tennis executives will present the latest research and share plans for growing the industry. The Aug. 29 event will be from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt New York City, right before play begins at the 2016 US Open.
Scott, who was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008 in the “contributor” category, was the founder, publisher and editor of Tennis Week magazine, where his column, “Vantage Point,” was considered a must-read in the industry. As an amateur tennis player, he ranked as high as No. 4 in the U.S. in 1963 and as high as World No. 11 in 1965. He also was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team, where he was both teammate and roommate with the late Arthur Ashe. He later served as president of the USTA Eastern Section, a board member for the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and on the national board of directors for the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA).
Annually, the International Tennis Hall of Fame presents the Eugene Scott Award to honor an individual “who embodies Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world.” Scott passed away in 2006.
At the Aug. 29 induction into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame, Scott’s achievements will be celebrated by longtime friend and colleague Jim Baugh, a tennis and sports industry veteran who himself was inducted into the industry’s Hall of Fame in 2014.
Kraft, who died in 1999, was a visionary when it came to bringing tennis to local communities. “In the 1960s and ’70s, tennis was starting to move beyond the country clubs and into the public arena, thanks to the advent of group instruction,” said Anne Humes, who will honor her longtime friend and USTA colleague at the TIA Tennis Forum. “Eve loved tennis. Her entire focus was getting more people to play and enjoy the game. She understood that group lessons along with ease of access and community support would open the doors of tennis to all people. Using the Princeton Tennis Program [founded in 1954 by Kraft and John Conroy] as a model, Eve embarked on a lifelong mission to help other communities establish service organizations for tennis based on the premise that with quality group instruction at affordable prices, everyone could learn the game.”
In 2001 the USTA renamed its annual Community Service Award in honor of Kraft; it is the highest award given for community tennis and recognizes volunteer tennis leaders for significant contributions to tennis development in their communities.
Kraft and Scott become the 11th and 12th inductees into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. “We are excited to have Eve Kraft and Gene Scott as our 2016 inductees,” said TIA President Jeff Williams, the chair of the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame Committee. “Their contributions to tennis continue to help this sport and industry to grow, and continue to impact peoples’ lives for the better.”
The Tennis Industry Hall of Fame was created in 2008 to recognize those individuals—inventors, founders, innovators and contributors—who have made a significant impact on the sport of tennis. The Tennis Industry Hall of Fame currently has 10 inductees: Howard Head (2008), Dennis Van der Meer (2008), Alan Schwartz (2009), Billie Jean King (2010), Nick Bollettieri (2011), Howard Gill Jr. (2013), Walter Montenegro (2013), Sheldon Westervelt (2013), Jim Baugh (2014) and Peter Burwash (2015). A plaque honoring the TI Hall of Fame inductees resides at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.
To attend the ninth annual TIA Tennis Forum in New York, which will include the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Eve Kraft and Gene Scott, visit TennisIndustry.org/forum.