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SC Tennis Patrons Foundation Announces Hall of Fame Inductees

October 24, 2007 06:03 PM

The South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation and USTA South Carolina are proud to announce two new inductees into the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.  These dedicated individuals will be honored at the USTA South Carolina Annual meeting and after their induction their portraits will be hung at the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in Belton, SC.

Helen Marie Bohlen Jeter, a native of Charleston, SC, has been influencing local tennis for almost as long as there has been a USTA South Carolina.  She started her tennis career as a league player and team captain in the Atlanta, GA area and then volunteered for five years as a Team Mother for two different junior teams. In addition, she served as a Women’s Division Coordinator, a Boys 12 and Under Division Coordinator and then as the Boys 12 and Under City Coordinator.  Jeter moved to Greenville, SC in 1986 where she continued to contribute to tennis as a player.  She also continued to volunteer off the court.  In 1987 Jeter became a board member of the Upper Piedmont Tennis Association (UPTA) and the following year she became the Local League Coordinator for UPTA.  She continued in this capacity until 1991 when she became the District (State) League Coordinator for USTA South Carolina. 

Helen Jeter’s contributions to the USTA on a state, sectional and national level have been amazing.  Since her beginnings as a District (State) League Coordinator in 1991, Jeter has served in over a dozen positions in the USTA.  She has been a member of the USTA South Carolina Board of Directors for nearly 15 years and served as USTA SC Vice President, USTA SC Executive Vice President, and in 1998-1999 as USTA SC President. For four years Jeter also served as the Event Planner and Coordinator for the USTA SC Annual Meeting.  Currently she is serving USTA SC as Chair of the Legal and By-Laws Committee and as a member of the Long Range Planning, Budget and Nominating Committees.  Volunteering at the USTA Southern Sectional level since 1993, she was chair of the NTRP Medical Appeals Committee, Sectional League Championships and Southern Adult Leagues Committee.  A member of USTA Southern Board of Directors since 2001, Jeter has served as a Delegate-At-Large and is currently serving as a USTA Southern Vice-President.  At the USTA National level, Jeter has volunteered as a member of the Section Marketing/Sales and Public Relations Committee.  She currently serves on the USTA League Committee and as a member of the League Regulations Subcommittee.  Jeter has also been a member of the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation Board of Directors since 1995 where she has served as both Vice-Chair and Chair.  USTA SC has honored Helen Jeter by giving her the President’s Award four times as well as the Lucy Garvin Volunteer of the Year Award.  USTA Southern has acknowledged her contributions by giving her the President’s Recognition Award, the Gerrie Rothwell Award and on two occasions the District Volunteer Service Award. 

Edward Lawrence “Larry” Rizzo has been contributing to tennis in South Carolina for nearly half a century.  Since making the Presbyterian College tennis team as a senior Rizzo has made it his mission to master the sport of tennis both as a player and a coach.  Among the dozens of letters written in support of Rizzo’s nomination there was a definite theme; dedication to youth and a commitment to making tennis fun for juniors.  Rizzo has coached dozens of top players who have gone on to success on a state, national and international stage.  He has had 13 different players win the singles title at the Wachovia Palmetto Championships at Belton, and 24 players win the doubles title at the event.  He has coached players who have won 15 High School State Championships, and six of his students have won USTA SC Most Improved Junior Player Awards.  Capitalizing on their junior success 44 of Rizzo’s players have had college scholarships and five are teaching pros here in South Carolina.  Rizzo himself is no slouch on the court, having been ranked number one, at least once, in every age division in both singles and doubles since he was 25.  He has reached the final of two USTA Southern singles championships, and won three USTA Southern doubles titles.    

Larry Rizzo has also made great contributions to tennis off the court.  He has served on nearly a dozen committees at USTA South Carolina.  Rizzo has also been on the Board of Directors for USTA South Carolina for a decade and has served as USTA South Carolina President.  All this work has not gone un-noticed by the South Carolina tennis community and Rizzo has won many awards including USTA South Carolina Community Service, Pro of the Year (twice), and Junior Tournament of the Year (twice). 

These two individuals contributions to tennis in South Carolina are almost immeasurable and the Palmetto state is grateful to have such wonderful individuals who are willing to help grow the sport of a lifetime, tennis. 

 

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