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SC Tennis Hall of Fame Inductees

 USTA South Carolina and the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation have elected two new nominees to the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.  Roberta Case, of Columbia, and Carey Washington, of Columbia, will be honored at the SC Tennis Patrons Hall of Fame Banquet at the USTA South Carolina Annual Meeting on December 11, 2010.  The inductees will have their portraits hung at the SC Tennis Hall of Fame, in Belton at a separate ceremony in early 2011. 
 
Roberta Case has been a stalwart supporter of tennis in South Carolina for over three decades.  Since moving to the Palmetto State from Alabama in 1964, she has had an impact as a player, a coach and a mentor for dozens of tennis players.  Her impact on tennis has been so great that past Hall of Fame inductees expressed surprise that she was not already a member. 
 
As a captain of the South Carolina Southern Senior Cup team for nearly 20 years, Case led the women’s team to a dozen titles with the team never placing lower than third.  No other Senior Cup Captain has come close to topping this record.  In 2007 in Columbus, GA she was the recipient of the prestigious Diamond Award given by the Southern Section to the person who best exemplifies the spirit of the Senior Cup competition.  Her team members had nothing but positive things to say; all were grateful for both her leadership and her strong play.
 
 Since 1978, Case has consistently been one of the top players in the USTA Southern Section, placing #1 in the Southern Section doubles rankings 18 times, #1 in the South Carolina doubles rankings 20 times, and ranking #9 nationally in the Women’s 60 doubles division in 2002. 
 
For much of the 1970’s and 1980’s Case was a popular captain of a Junior Tennis League team at the Rockbridge Club in Columbia.  During this time she also recruited trained and supervised ball boys and ball girls for the Family Circle Cup professional tournament in Hilton Head, and for celebrity matches in the Carolina Coliseum in Columbia.  In 1988, she played with son Andy at the U.S. Open Tennis Center in the Mother/Son division of the Family Equitable Tennis Challenge, getting to the semi- finals.  In 1985 her family was awarded the USTA SC Family of the Year.  She was also awarded the USTA SC President’s Award in 1992 and was presented the Lucy Garvin Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006. 
 
While many positive things could be said about Roberta Case, her essence is perhaps best captured by her doubles partner of over 30 years and SC Tennis Hall of Fame Member Betsy McColl, who said, "While never calling attention to herself, (Roberta) quietly goes about competing on the court or organizing behind the scenes, all with equally positive results."
 
Carey Washington is one of the most accomplished officials in USTA South Carolina history.  Since first becoming certified in 1988, he has played numerous roles on state, sectional, national and even international levels.  He is such an accomplished and respected official that he has literally written the book on training officials.
 
Washington was first certified as an official in South Carolina in 1988.  Since that time he has had an indelible influence on players, and officials, across the state, section, and nation.  Washington has officiated events ranging from small junior tournaments at local clubs all the way to professional tournaments in the US Open series. 
 
Washington has been an influential volunteer for nearly as long as he has been an official.  In 1989 he was selected as Chairman of the USTA SC Officials Committee, a role he retained until 1994.  He served on the USTA National Officials Committee for 15 years, from 1993 to 2008.  In addition, other highlights of Washington’s career include developing training programs for high school officials in South Carolina, working as Chief Official at the Wachovia Palmetto Championships, serving as the referee for the first two National Special Olympics Games, serving for over a decade as the referee for the National Special Olympics Tournament at the Van Der Meer Tennis Center and serving as Chief Umpire for the Special Olympics World Games in Connecticut, North Carolina, Dublin, Ireland, and Shanghai, China.
 
 The tireless effort that Washington gives to officiating hasn’t gone unnoticed.  He has been honored as USTA SC Official of the Year twice (the only person so honored), received the Lucy Garvin Volunteer of the Year Award, was selected as USTA Southern Tennis Official of the Year (twice) and was selected as one of the first officials to serve on the National Professional Officials Advocacy Committee, where he was selected Vice Chair.
 
Washington has a knack for charming everyone he comes into contact with, even if he’s ruling against them in his official capacity.  He is not the strongest tennis player to be selected for the SC Tennis Hall of Fame, but as is clear from his nominations there are few stronger advocates for the game. 
 

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