BELTON TENNIS
INFORMATION

SC TENNIS
HALL OF FAME

 
 

Jim Russell
Belton, SC
Inducted December 7, 1991

GREW UP IN COLOMBUS, GEORGIA WHERE HE WAS A THREE-SPORT STAR. PLAYED COLLEGIATE BASEBALL FOR FLORIDA STATE AND HAD A BRIEF PROFESSIONAL CAREER IN THE NEW YORK YANKEE FARM SYSTEM. MOVED TO BELTON, SC IN 1970 AND SOON BECAME INVOLVED WITH TENNIS AS A VOLUNTEER FOR THE PALMETTO CHAMPIONSHIPS.

HE WORKED ON THE TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND BECAME A CERTIFIED USTA REFEREE IN 1976. HE WAS SERVED ON THE TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE EVERY YEAR SINCE 1974. UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP THE TOURNAMENT HAS GROWN IN SIZE AND WAS HONORED AS THE SCTA JUNIOR TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR IN 1986 & 1990 AND WAS THE STA JUNIOR TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR IN 1990. ENTRIES IN THE TOURNAMENT HAVE GROWN FROM 200 IN 1971 TO 570 IN 1992. HE ALSO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN SECURING THE TOURNAMENT’S TITLE SPONSOR, SOUTH CAROLINA NATIONAL BANK.

AFTER HIS SUCCESS AT THE PALMETTO, RUSSELL WAS IN DEMAND AT NUMEROUS OTHER TOURNAMENTS THROUGHOUT THE STATE. HE SOON BECAME INVOLVED WITH THE SOUTH CAROLINA TENNIS ASSOCIATION, AND AFTER CHAIRING SEVERAL COMMITTEES WAS ELECTED SCTA PRESIDENT IN 1982. DURING HIS TERM HE FORMED THE SOUTH CAROLINA TENNIS PATRONS FOUNDATION WITH THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A STATE TENNIS HALL OF FAME. THE SOUTH CAROLINA TENNIS HALL OF FAME BECAME A REALITYIN 1984 WHEN IT OPENED WITH TWO INDUCTEES. THROUGH 1992 THE HALL OF FAME HAS 18 INDUCTEES AND IS KNOWS AS ONE OF THE FINEST SUCH FACILITIES IN THE COUNTRY.

AFTER COMPLETING HIS TWO YEAR TERM AS SCTA PRESIDENT, HE ASSUMED THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE PATRONS FOUNDATION IN 1985, A POSTION HE HELD FOR FOUR YEARS. DURING THIS TIME THE SCTPF GREW QUICKLY AS BOTH A FUND RAISING AND SERVICE ORGANIZATION. NEW PROJECTS WERE INSTITUTED AND GRANTS AND PROGRAMS WERE OFFERED THROUGHOUT THE STATE.

JIM’S STATE INVOLVEMENT SOON LED TO VOLUNTEER WORK WITH THE SOUTHERN TENNIS ASSOCIATION. HE SERVED ON BOTH THE STA BOARD AND MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE AND WAS ELECTED EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT IN 1989. HE WAS IN LINE TO BE ELECTED STA PRESIDENT IN JANUARY 1993. HE IS ALSO INVOLVED AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL WHERE HE SERVES ON SEVERAL USTA COMMITTEES AND IS THE VICE CHARMAN OF THE USTA RULES COMMITTEE.

HIS SKILL AND REPUTATION AS A TOP OFFICIAL HAS EARNED HIM REFEREE POSTITONS AT THE USTA OLYMPIC FESTIVAL AND THE USTA BOY’S 18’S INTERSECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. HE HAS SERVED AS AN OFFICIAL AT THE U.S. OPEN AND SEVERAL OTHER PROFESSIONAL TOURNAMENTS. HE HAS BEEN THE ITCA SUPERVISOR OF NATIONAL EVERTS, AND CHAIRMAN OF THE ACC MENT AND WOMEN’S TENNIS TOURNAMENT.

HE CONTINUED TO BE INVOLVED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL AND WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN THE REVIVAL OF THE BELTON TENNIS ASSOCIATION IN 1987 AND SERVED AS PRESIDENT FOR THREE YEARS. FOLLOWING HIS PRESIDENCY, HE SERVED ON THE BTA BOARD AS AN EX-OFFICIAL MEMBER. HE WAS INVOLVED IN BOTH FUND RAISING AND PLANNING FOR THE $175,000.00 EXPANSION OF THE BELTON “TOWN COURT” COMPLEX IN 1991-1992. HE ALSO CONTINUES TO SERVE AS REFEREE OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA NATIONAL PALMETTO CHAMPIONSHIPS.

JIM LIVES IN BELTON AND IS A SALESMAN TRAVELING SOUTH CAROLINA AND EAST GEORGIA FOR BOWDEN MANUFACTURING COMPANY.

 
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