GREENSBORO, NC (Jan. 26, 2013) – The North Carolina Tennis Foundation is proud to announce the induction of Bonnie Logan, Parks Easter and James “Frank” Love Jr. into the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame. The 2013 class was officially inducted into the Hall of Fame during Tennis Weekend on January 26, 2013.
Bonnie Logan, a Durham native, is no stranger to the spotlight. Aside from becoming the first African-American woman to play in a Virginia Slims Tournament, her dominance in the American Tennis Association during the 1960s was unprecedented. From 1964-1970 Logan captured seven-consecutive ATA women’s singles titles. Prior to that remarkable stretch, she took Maryland’s Girl’s 18 and Under Championship, the Girl’s 16 and Under Championship and the Girl’s 14 and Under Championship in consecutive years.
Her emergence into the tennis world as a junior came as no surprise, as much of her playing career was spent taking on older players. In fact as a student-athlete at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, Logan so far outperformed the women’s tennis team that she petitioned to join the men’s team — and won. She went on to play #2 for the men and won her flight in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tennis Championships. She spent her last two years of college focused on playing against women and later competed in the NCAA Championships. Logan finished her college career lettering in five sports and in 2009 she was inducted into the Black Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1983 she was inducted into the MSU Varsity M Athletic Hall of Fame.
In 1968 Logan captured the Eastern Carolina Closed Championship in both singles and doubles. Two years later she accomplished the same feat at the North Carolina State Closed Championship.
“The citizens of North Carolina have every right to be proud of Bonnie Logan,” said fellow NC Tennis Hall of Famer and former three-time ATA National Mixed Doubles Champion partner Lendward Simpson. “Her achievements on and off the court reflect positively on her native state and the sport of tennis she loves.”
Perhaps no person helped pioneer and shape a tennis community as much as Parks Easter did for his hometown of Lexington. Easter, who passed away in August 2006, began promoting tennis on a strictly volunteer basis from 1941-1982 before being hired as Lexington’s first tennis director in 1982 — his first and only paid tennis position. At just 17 years old, Easter organized, coached and played #1 on his 1941-1942 Lexington High School tennis team. From there he went on to play tennis for the University of North Carolina before serving in the Navy during World War II.
Upon his return from the war, Easter completed his degree at UNC in 1948 and quickly returned to Lexington to get started on his latest initiative. After spending his entire high school playing career on the road with inadequate tennis facilities, Easter led a new campaign to bring courts to his local high school. Once the courts were in place, he coached the team on and off from 1956-1982. Then in 1958 he created, organized and directed a summer youth tennis clinic for boys and girls of all ages. The clinic still runs to this day.
During his playing career Easter won over 50 Lexington City Championships, including 10 men’s open singles titles (a city record). In 2008 he was inducted into the Davidson County Sports Hall of Fame.
“The imprint that Parks has left as a player, coach, organizer, administrator and friend of tennis qualifies Parks as a member of the Hall of Fame,” said Walter Brinkley, former president of the Lexington Tennis Association. “His influence upon the boys and girls in this community made a profound and lasting impression.”
Shelby native Frank Love Jr. has been a staple in North Carolina tennis for more than 70 years. Now retired at the age of 91, the former North Carolina Tennis Association vice president spent much of his playing career representing the country in various national tournaments. Two times he was selected to represent USA versus Canada in the Gordon Cup, while nine other times he represented USA in the Osuna Cup against Mexico. He also dominated league play, recording multiple state championships at all levels en route to a #1 Southern ranking.
One of Love’s most notorious matches involved a doubles match in Pinehurst when he played alongside Bobby Riggs, who lost to Billie Jean King in the renowned “Battle of the Sexes.” The duo dropped that match to a pair of Australian players.
Love led the creation of Mount Holly High School’s men’s and women’s tennis team where he served as a mentor, sponsor and coach in the 1950s and 1960s. In 2011 he was elected into the Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame.
“My family and I are ecstatic over the news that my grandfather, Frank Love, was inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame class,” said his granddaughter Beth Beam. “He has been involved in tennis both on and off the court for over 80 years and is truly an exceptional example and is very deserving of this award.”
Matt Gottfried, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
NCTF Inducts Trio into Hall of Fame