2007 Award - Jacobs Bowl

Jacobs Bowl
The highest honor presented by the USTA Southern Section, this award is presented to a volunteer who has exhibited outstanding service in the USTA Southern Section.

Peter Koury
Lealand, MS
Peter Koury’s first exposure with tennis was as a fifth grader in Lealand, Mississippi. As a youngster he would go out to the local courts and watch the older men play. With eight frequent players in the area, Lealand was known at the time as quite the tennis town and Peter was attracted to the sport at once. The men that Peter and his friends would watch play struck a bargain with the kids swapping court time for court clean up. Peter and his friends gladly cleaned up after the men for a chance to get on the courts.

Without an instructor, Peter would hit against a wall for two hours a day to hone his skills. He began to improve his game, compete in tournaments and made the high school team. Peter went off to Mississippi State for college and he could not stay away from the courts. During an afternoon hitting session with a friend, the Mississippi State Men’s Tennis Coach approached Peter about joining the varsity team. Tentatively, Peter agreed and spent his senior year of college training with his first working his way to the No. 4 position on team.

After graduation, Peter went into the AirForce where he continued to play on tennis teams. When he discharged from the service, he returned to Mississippi State to work on a Master degree in accounting. Soon after arriving back to his alma mater, the tennis coach caught up with Peter and persuaded him to join the team again.

It wasn’t until Peter met Slew Hester that his perspective on the game he loved began to change. Peter was consumed with playing tennis and Hester encouraged him to begin giving back to the game that had given him so much. Peter eagerly joined a Mississippi Tennis Association committee and was quickly appointed to the position of Treasurer, which he held off and on for twenty-three years.

Peter served as President to Mississippi Tennis Association from 1987-1988 and was one of the Founders of the Mississippi Tennis Foundation and Hall of Fame. Koury was inspired to establish both of these organizations because his good friend, Slew Hester, was on the verge of retirement. On May 19, 1989 Peter’s vision came to fruition with the induction of Slew Hester to the Mississippi Hall of Fame. A project close to his heart, Koury still sits on the Mississippi Hall of Fame Selection Committee today. He also is involved in the Hall of Fame Selection Committee for USTA Southern and serves on the Southern Patrons Foundation.

Tennis has brought many special people and relationships into Peter’s life and he credits his involvement in the USTA. With over twenty years working the USTA Membership Booth at the US Open, Peter has had the opportunity to connect with tennis enthusiasts from across the country. His contributions on and off the court have enhanced his love for the game. Peter still hits the courts today with the Senior 4.0 league and vows that he will always play tennis.

“Tennis has done so much for me over the years,” said Koury. “ I know I will always play tennis.”