ORLANDO, FLA., Oct. 16, 2017 – The USTA has announced that Hollis Smith, of Indio, Calif., was selected as the recipient of the USTA Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award. Smith was honored at an awards luncheon involving community tennis leaders during the annual Next Generation Workshop, Oct. 13-15, at the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World in Orlando, Fla.
Smith has been a fixture in the Southern California tennis world for more than five decades, playing an integral role in making tennis available to minorities in Los Angeles. An engineer by trade who moved to Los Angeles after graduating from college, Smith fell in love with the sport and went on to win a number of senior titles. Off the court, he served as the president of both the Los Angeles Municipal Tennis Association and the National Public Parks Tennis Championships, and he helped organize the local chapter of the National Junior Tennis League (now National Junior Tennis & Learning). In 2002, the National Public Parks Tennis Association and the USTA established the Hollis Smith Sportsmanship Award, with Smith being the first honoree. Later, the recognition was changed to the Hollis Smith Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Hollis is truly a pioneer of the game of tennis in Southern California and beyond,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “Hollis’ impact on the game has been invaluable and his commitment to the growth of tennis is unmatched.”
The USTA awards the Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award to the individuals who best exemplify Kraft’s selfless mission to bring the sport of tennis to everyone who wants to play. Kraft was a tennis pioneer whose ability to touch people’s lives exceeded the boundaries of the tennis court. As a teacher, coach, author, USTA staff member and volunteer, Kraft was a lifelong champion of recreational tennis in the U.S. until her death in 1999. She introduced thousands of young people to tennis, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 715,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world, and launched the US Open Series, linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships in addition to supporting tennis and education programs nationwide to benefit under-resourced youth through the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. For more information about the USTA, go to USTA.com or follow the official accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.