2019 Inductees


Nathaniel Jackson Photo provided by Lendward Simpson

Nathaniel and Franklyn Jackson, brothers from Laurinburg, NC are being recognized as Pioneers of Black Tennis. These brothers were ATA National doubles champions in 1931, 1933, 1934,1935, 1936 and 1938.  Nathaniel was ATA National Men’s Singles Champion in 1934 and Franklyn was ATA National Men’s Singles Champion in 1935 and 1938.  Nathaniel was a frequent player on Dr. Hubert Eaton’s Wilmington, NC home court, where he hit and practiced with world champion Althea Gibson and introduced the game of tennis to Black Tennis Hall of Famer Lendward (Lenny) Simpson.  According to some, on one occasion, he beat world champion Fred Perry on this same court in a practice match.

Theodore (Ted) Thompson, born in Hubbard City, Texas in 1907 moved with his family to Washington, DC at the age of 6, He is being recognized as a Pioneer of Black Tennis.  Ted was a graduate of Wilberforce University where he starred in tennis and basketball. He won the ATA National Mixed Doubles title in 1931, the Men’s Singles title in 1925 and 1927 and the Men’s Doubles titles in 1917, 1919, 1921,1922,1924,1925, 1926 and 1927.  Theodore partnered seven times to win these doubles titles with Tally Holmes, (winner of the inaugural ATA Championship in 1916) and once with Eyre Saitch. Ted passed away on August 9, 1963


Richard, Arthur Ashe, Lance Lumsden

Richard Russell is a living legend.  Richard is the only Jamaican to qualify and win matches at all Grand Slam Championships. He was the youngest national champion at age 16.  He was a founding member of the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and, in 1966, achieved the distinction of holding the record of winning a first round match at the Australian Open 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.  He represented the Jamaican Davis Cup and had wins over Arthur Ashe and Charlie Passarel in 1966 and a singles win over Eric VanDillon in the 1970 Davis Cup tie versus the West Indies.  He also had a singles win over Dennis Ralston at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Richard was the director of Tennis at the Half Moon Club in Montego Bay and was responsible for bringing tennis luminaries Ilie Nastase, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Pancho Gonzales and Pancho Segura to participate in celebrity events at the Half Moon Club.  In 2002-2003 he was the Circuit Chairman to Jamaica, hosting 2,000 plus world class Futures players, their coaches and family members from all over the world by creating and running 22 men’s professional tournaments in a record-breaking series of events which had never been attempted in the Caribbean.Richard is the Chairman/Director of the Russell Tennis Academy at Hillel Academy, Campion College and Campion Deep Dene.   In 2011 he became Chairman of the All Island High School Tennis Championships and Director of Tennis Jamaica.  Richard is the father to three sons, all of whom are involved in tennis:  Craig Russell is the Project Manager responsible for the family Tennis Court Building Operation.  Ryan Russell, a Wimbledon junior semi-finalist and world ranked ATP Pro Player at age 19.  He and his brother, Rayne, are the two leading High School teaching professionals. Rayne and Ryan are formers of Jamaica’s Davis Cup Team.C

 Chanda Rubin 

Chanda Rubin became a professional tennis player in 1991 at the age of 15 and played on the WTA Tour for 16 years. She reached a career high ranking of #6 in the world in singles and #9 in the world in doubles. She won 7 WTA Tour singles titles and 10 doubles titles, including the Australian Open doubles title in 1996. In singles, she reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and reached the quarterfinals of the French Open three times. In doubles, she also reached the finals and semifinals of the US Open in back-to-back years, as well as the semifinals of Wimbledon. 

Her competitive fire and work ethic gained her wins over many other top players like Jennifer Capriati, Gabriela Sabatini, Arantxa Sanchez, Martina Hingis, Amelie Mauresmo, Justine Henin, Lindsay Davenport, and Serena Williams. She has competed in record-setting matches, the most memorable being when she came back and won after being down 5-0, 40-0 in the 3rd set against Jana Novotna at the French Open. Chanda was a member of the 1996 and 2004 US Olympic Teams as well as the US Fed Cup team from 1995-1997 and from 1999-2004, helping the US to the title in 1999. She was also an accomplished junior player, winning the Wimbledon girls’ singles title and rising to No. 2 in the world junior rankings in 1992. 

She has won various awards for her accomplishments on the court and for her work with numerous charities. She was inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009, the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012, and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. Although she became a professional as a junior in high school, one of Chanda’s fondest memories is of staying in school and graduating with her class. Currently, Chanda works as a broadcast analyst for Tennis Channel as well as being a real estate professional and motivational speaker. She served three terms as a director-at-large on the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Board of Directors as well as terms on the USTA International Committee and the ITF Juniors Committee. She has a degree from Harvard University Extension School, in the field of Economics, with a minor in Finance. 


Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Inductee 2013 
Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee 2012 
Southern Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee 2009 
International Lawn Tennis Danzig Trophy 2008 
Gene Scott Renaissance Award 2008 
USTA Service Bowl Award 2003 
Hormel Foods/Family Circle Player Who Makes A Difference Award 2002 Arthur Ashe Leadership Award 1997 
USA Magazine’s Most Caring Athlete Award 1998 
WTA Most Improved Player Award 1995 
1996 US Olympic Committee Female Athlete of the Month and thereafter Female Athlete of the Year 
USTA Female Athlete of the Year 1996 
ATA Athlete of the Year 1995 

Phillip Williamson is an accomplished and respected professional with more than 10 years of experience in every aspect of tennis coaching. He is a success-oriented individual as well as a team-builder. Phil sees challenges as opportunities with a performance record in developing players to reach their potential on the junior collegiate and tour level. A self- motivated leader, adept at facilitating projects in a fast-paced and detail-oriented environment. He is also an effective communicator who relates well to diverse groups of people at all levels within an organization.

A native of New York, Phil graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1983 and Columbia University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. While at Columbia he became a #1 player. In 1984 he helped Columbia University capture its first Ivy League title in over 12 years and then repeated the feat three years later before graduating. He was ranked 45th in Head Intercollegiate Tennis Standing and Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rank of #31.Phil played on the ATP Tour from 1987 to 1993 reaching his highest singles level of #294 in August of 1992 and highest doubles level of #133 in August of 1989. He participated in numerous ATP events including the US Open (1985, 1986, 1987-1989, 1991-1993 and 1997), Wimbledon (1989,19920, Australian Open (1992), Newport International Hall of Fame (1992), NYTL/SOBRO Bronx Challenger doubles quarterfinalist and the Shawmut US Pro Championships (Boston 1989) doubles finalist.

He also represented Antiqua in Davis Cup and other National events to include the Pan American Games (Argentina -1995 – played #1 singles), Davis Cup (played #1 singles and doubles), El Salvador 1996, Bermuda 1997, Bolivia 1998 and Panama 1999.Occupational service includes positions as Program Director with the Harlem Junior Tennis Program; Director of Tennis, Tennis Club of Riverdale, Director of Tennis Hudson Valley Health and Tennis Club; Head Coach and school advisor for Academy Players, Ross School Tennis Academy; and as a Personal Coach.

Phil currently holds life memberships with the United States Tennis Federation (USTA) and the American Tennis Association (ATA). He is also a member of the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) with an Elite Pro rating. He served on the board of the ATA 2000-2002; a New York Delegate for the ATA New York Tennis Association 2000-2002; ran NYTA tournaments at the USTA National Tennis Center 1999-2001; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Jerry Alleyne Memorial Foundation.

Benny Sims Jr. a native of Beaumont, Texas, has had over 40 years of tenure in the game of tennis as a player, coach, administrator, mentor and spokesperson. After attending Texas Southern University where he was a two-time All American, and American Tennis Association (ATA) Men’s Singles Champion, he embarked on the professional tour. Sims soon relocated to Boston, Massachusetts where he went on to coach, working with Jim Smith at Sportsmen’s Tennis Club, which reached national acclaim under their direction. He then moved on to Harvard University, and became the first African American assistant tennis coach in the Ivy League. After his time at Harvard, Sims was appointed head tennis pro at the famed Longwood Cricket Club, and then recruited by the late Arthur Ashe to serve as a National Coach for the USTA Player Development program – Sims was the first African American to hold both of these positions. Sims is perhaps best known for coaching Chanda Rubin, who holds seven WTA Tour singles titles. Partnering in 1998, under Sims’ tutelage, Chanda Rubin reached a ranking of #7 in the world on the women’s professional tour. Benny Sims Jr. currently resides in New Jersey with his wife, and has two adult daughters.