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Southern Tennis Hall of Fame 2003 Inductees Announced

October 10, 2002 03:35 PM

The USTA Southern Section announced that Georgia’s Ned Neely III and Alabama’s Les Longshore, Jr. and Ann Etheredge have been selected as 2003 inductees of the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame. By inclusion in the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame all three inductees, by excellence of their activities in and connection with Southern Tennis, brought substantial recognition and esteem to themselves and to the USTA Southern Section. The official induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, January 18, 2003 at the Atlanta Perimeter Marriott in Atlanta, GA.

“Ned Neely, Leslie Longshore and Ann Etheredge are all well deserving of induction into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame,” said John Callen, Executive Director, USTA Southern Section. “Ned was one of the greatest players to ever come out of the state of Georgia. He was a wonderful man who tirelessly gave back to the game."

“Leslie Longshore and Ann Etheredge are two of the most active and passionate players, both on and off the court, in the state of Alabama,” continued Callen. “Les was a leading proponent of Open tennis in the 60’s and an outstanding Professional and coach. Ann's success as a player is unrivaled among Alabama women and she has spearheaded the building and management of the jewel of public tennis facilities in the South."

The January 18th induction ceremony will take place during the 2003 USTA Southern Section Annual Meeting.

Ned Neely

To quote legendary University of Georgia tennis coach Dan Magill, “Ned Neely was not only an outstanding tennis player, but he was also a great person.”

Edgar A. “Ned” Neely III was born in Atlanta, GA and started playing tennis at the age of eight. Under Jack Waters’ tutelage, Neely racked up local, state and southern championships in the early 1950’s, culminating in his first national

Ned Neely - 2003 Southern HOF Inductee© Copyright
title, the 1955 National Boys 15 Singles over Butch Buchholz. Buchholz and Neely teamed up to take the doubles championship. Neely was also the Junior Clay Court National Champion in 1955.

He was a finalist in the National Interscholastics in 1956 and he won several singles and doubles Southern Boys championships between 1954 and 1958. Neely closed out his junior career in 1958 ranked #8 in the USTA Boys 18 competition.

Neely played tennis on a full scholarship to Georgia Tech, where he became the school’s first All American in 1959 and 1960. In 1960 he led the GA Tech to the Southeastern Conference team title and was the SEC #1 singles and doubles (w/ Harry Thompson) champion. Neely still holds the Tech record for best all-time winning percentage in doubles with his 55-13 (.809) record.

In 1955, Neely competed in his first US Open Championship at Forest Hills. As a first time player, and the youngest competitor in the field, Neely lost to Gardner Mulloy, the oldest player in the tournament. Neely went on to compete at the US Open five times in his career. Following graduation from GA Tech, and a stint in the Marine Corps, Neely joined the professional world tennis circuit. He competed for several years, making three appearances at Wimbledon. He ultimately gave up the professional tennis scene to become a lawyer.

He continued playing competitively after graduating from University of Virginia Law School, primarily entering local and Georgia state tournaments. However, between 1959 and 1970, Neely played matches in every major tennis stadium in the United States, Europe and Australia. He reached his highest national ranking of #11 in the US Men’s singles in the mid-1960’s.

A highly accomplished trial lawyer, Neely always maintained close ties to tennis. He served as a board member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and president of the Georgia Tennis Foundation. He was inducted into the Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame in 1969.

Neely was the man most responsible for brining the Davis Cup competition to Atlanta in 1988 and was instrumental in Atlanta’s 1998 designation of “Tennis City of the Year” by the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Under his direction, two missions came to task; the opening of the Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Tennis Academic Program (TAP).

TAP was started to benefit disadvantaged youth at community centers throughout Atlanta. The program includes tennis and academic instruction for players aged 8-12. The Edgar “Ned” Neely Community Tennis Association was formed in the spring of 2000 to help administer youth programs in his memory.

In August 1999 a tragic plane crash cost him his life. An accomplished pilot, Neely was overcome by a hard rainstorm while flying near Alligator Point, FL. While he was able to successfully land his twin engine plane, the slippery runway cause the aircraft to slide off into a thicket of trees. His young daughter, the only other passenger on the plane, survived the crash. Selfless to the end, Neely was able to steer the plane so that his side of the aircraft received the brunt end of the crash.

He is survived by his wife Denise and seven children.

“Ned was one of the greatest players in the history of Georgia,” remembers Lee Sessions, longtime friend and President of the Georgia Tennis Foundation. “His accomplishments at the junior, collegiate and professional levels have not come close to being equaled by anyone in the state. In addition to his playing ability, Ned should be remembered for all that he gave back to the game. His passion for the sport and desire to bring it to others was what drove his involvement in the Georgia Tennis Foundation. Ned was a wonderful personality with a fantastic wit. Ned was also a great father, husband and person.”

Leslie Clarke Longshore, Jr.

Born in 1925, Longshore was raised in Anniston, AL but has spent much of his life in the Birmingham area. During his twenty-two year tennis career, he served as tennis professional at the Country Club of Birmingham, Mountain Brook Swim & Tennis Club and Highland Racquet Club. In 1962, he founded the Southern Professional Tennis Association (SPTA), a division of the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), the world’s oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals. As founder he also held the position of SPTA president for seven years. From 1974-1975, Longshore served as president of the USPTA.

Les Longshore, Jr. - 2003 Southern HOF Inductee© Copyright

As a player, Longshore had few equals in Alabama and throughout much of the south. In 1946 he won the SEC men’s singles tennis championships as a member of the Tulane University team. Among his many titles and championships, Longshore was a North Carolina State Singles champion for three years in the 1940’s and 1950’s and an Alabama State Singles champion in 1952. He competed in the U.S. National Championships (now known as the US OPEN) every year between 1952 and 1959, reaching the round of 16 in 1958. He was ranked in the USTA Southern Section’s top ten for ten years and was ranked #1 in the South in doubles with partner Wade Herren in the 1950’s.

Longshore was a top collegiate tennis coach at Clemson University from 1958-1962 and at Stamford University from 1974-1986.

The leading umpire in Alabama for many years, Longshore officiated at World Championship tennis events during the three years they were played at the Birmingham/Jefferson Civic Center. In the 1970’s he was the head of Alabama’s umpiring committee for seven years. He served as the President of the Alabama Tennis Association in the 1980’s and founded the Alabama Tennis Hall of Fame.

After competing for many years in senior tennis events, Longshore turned to another sport – long distance running. Not surprisingly, he excelled at it and was a charter member of the Birmingham Track Club. He has successfully completed 33 marathons and last year he wore “# 1” as a competitor in the Mercedes Marathon, an honor granted for life.

Away from athletics, Longshore holds a BS Degree from Tulane University and a Masters from the University of Alabama. He has served as an English instructor at Clemson University, the University of Alabama, Birmingham Southern College and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has also taught Latin at John Carroll High School.

He is married to wife Anne and has three children, three stepchildren and eleven grandchildren.

Ann Etheredge

“Today’s big time athletes all have big time attitudes and are willing to do anything to win,” said longtime friend and doubles partner Ann Dielen. “Ann Ethredge is the exact opposite. She always gives the benefit of the doubt to her opponent and brings a true love of the game to the courts. Ann most definitely should be looked at as a role model for today’s young athletes.”

Ann Etheredge - 2003 Southern HOF Inductee© Copyright
Ann Etheredge, born in 1955 and a native of Birmingham, AL has been called the one of the greatest women’s players to ever come out of Alabama and the south and she certainly has the credentials to back up such a statement. The holder of 22 USTA gold balls and 2 USTA silver balls, Etheredge has
distinguished herself as a premier player.


Her long list of on court accomplishments include multiple singles and doubles titles at the National Clay Court Championships, the National Grass Court Championships, Senior Cup Championships, and the Les Grandes Dames Tennis Tournament. She is a six-time member of the winning ITF Young Cup team and Margaret Court Cup and she has been a member of numerous winning Southern Intersectional teams. She has held the national #1 ranking in both singles and doubles in several age divisions many times over.

In 1997 Etheredge became the youngest member of the Alabama Tennis Hall of Fame when she was inducted with longtime doubles partner Ann Dielen.

Etheredge was instrumental in the opening of the Pelham Racquet Club in Pelham, AL. One of the finest public tennis facilities in the south, the club consists of 20 clay courts and 5 hard courts. She currently serves as the facilities Tennis Director.

Founded in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in this country. In addition to owning the US Open and selecting members of the DavisCup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic teams, the USTA administers a variety of programs nationwide for players of all ages and ability levels. A not-for-profit organization, the association is divided into 17 sections, of which the USTA Southern Section is the largest. The 165,000 USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up the USTA Southern Section, and account for approximately 25% of the total USTA membership. A professional staff housed in Norcross, GA carries out the USTA Southern Section’s daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization’s work is executed via a Board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers. For more information about the types of programs and services offered by the USTA Southern Section visit www.southerntennis.com.

 

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