The North Carolina Tennis Foundation has selected Mary Lloyd Hodges Barbera and Mark Dillon as the inductees for the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame class of 2016. The induction will take place at USTA North Carolina’s Tennis Weekend, an annual state meeting of tennis volunteers and professionals held in Pinehurst, N.C., in January.
Barbera, a Henderson native who lived most of her adult life in Greensboro, will be posthumously honored. Earlier this year she unexpectedly passed away at the age of 49. Her legacy as a player and advocate of tennis in North Carolina made her one of the faces of the sport across the state.
"A big part of Mary Lloyd’s life was dedicated to tennis. I can say on behalf of her and her family that this is an incredible honor and one Mary Lloyd would be so proud to receive," said Mary Lloyd's surviving husband Bobby Barbera.
As a junior, Barbera held the No. 1 ranking in North Carolina in the Girls’ 12s, 14s and 18s. She was a three-time state singles champion and three-time state doubles champion, and she captured the NCHSAA state singles title in 1981 and 1982.
After competing collegiately for Peace College and North Carolina State University, Barbera found her way back into the tennis world by joining the USTA North Carolina staff in 1999. Ultimately becoming the Director of Marketing for the organization, Barbera became a nationally respected name due to her passion and love for tennis.
“Mary Lloyd has had two NC Tennis Hall of Fame careers. Her record as a player puts her among the best ever to come from North Carolina,” said Kelly Gaines, USTA North Carolina Executive Director. “She dedicated the last 15 years of her life to making sure every person in our state had a chance to know about tennis. Her contributions to tennis were left on the court and in the hearts of everyone who met her.”
Dillon, 55, a Charlotte native, was one of the state’s best junior players towards the end of the 1970s. He won the Boys 16s’ doubles state title in 1976 and the Boys 18s’ singles and doubles state titles in 1978. Dillon was also the NCHSAA singles champion as a senior.
Dillon attended North Carolina State University and aided the Wolfpack in winning the ACC Championship as a freshman in 1979. His illustrious collegiate career included two ACC singles championships, an ACC doubles championship, and NCAA All America honors in 1981.
In the mid-1980s, Dillon served on the first board of the Charlotte Tennis Association, helping to grow tennis across the city and assisting with various tennis clinics for underprivileged youth. Today he serves on the USTA North Carolina Board of Directors, he’s the chair of the organization’s Investment Committee, and he plays an active role on and off the court with his three sons.
“I feel like I’m being brought into a great family of North Carolina tennis players. I’m just honored to be a part of the group,” Dillon said. “The [North Carolina] Tennis Foundation does such a good job of honoring its HOF members, I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
The North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame now includes 91 members with the addition of Barbera and Dillon. The inaugural class was inducted in 1975. The North Carolina Tennis Foundation selects two or three members each year to add to the Hall of Fame during Tennis Weekend. For more information, visit www.nctennisfoundation.com.
NC Tennis Hall of Fame selects Barbera, Dillon for class of 2016