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12. June, 2020|slide|No comments

The Passing of a Legend

16. April, 2011|Uncategorized|No comments

Mr. William EarlBill Shelton, Jr., age 74, of Amelia Island, FL passed away on Thursday evening, March 31, 2011 at his home.

He was the first African American sports agent to manage world class tennis players including Andre Agassi.

Born in Columbia South Carolina, he was son of the late William E. and Earnestine DaVault Shelton. He was a graduate of C. A. Johnson High School in Columbia S. C and St. Paul Episcopal University of Laurenceville Va. Upon completing his education he enlisted in the United States Army and was honorable discharged in 1964.
He and his family were members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Columbia, S.C.
He was employed for by the New York Department of Social Services. He was Vice President of Richard Clarke Associates in New York City, a head hunting agency.

Mr. Shelton then began a long and distinguished career in Sports Management starting as Vice President of All American Sports, under Nick Bollettieri. He went on to the position of VP of Player Development at Prince MFG. In the late 1970s, while coordinating a tennis convention in Miami, FL for Prince Manufacturing, he met his future wife, Raven; a veteran of ten Broadway shows, and an accomplished international Model.  Continuing his career as a Sports Agent, he moved to Advantage International in Washington, DC, then IMG, where he was Vice President of Racquet Sports, where he remained until the early 1990s. After managing athletes Andre Agassi, Zena Garrison, Vince Carter and Paul Anacone, and others, Mr. Shelton was asked to focus his efforts solely on Agassi Inc. in Las Vegas, NV. He remained with Agassi, Inc., until 1994 when he opened Bill Shelton & Associates, Inc in Alexandria, Va.

Mr. Shelton was a pioneer in Sports Management. He was the first African-American Sports Agent to manage world class tennis athletes. He was not only a manager and advisor for the best in the world but was a coach, mentor and friend to both young and seasoned athletes, including Arthur Ashe. He was oftentimes sought out for simple guidance and direction. He not only cared about the athlete’s immediate career goals,  but was equally concerned about their future professional lives, after  retiring from sports.
Bill was a dear friend and confidante to me.  We stayed in touch with one another throughout the years and collaborated on several projects.  He will be missed!

Shady Rest Country Club – 1930

15. April, 2011|Slider|9 comments

The first Black-owned Golf and Tennis Club in America.

Cosmopolitan Tennis Club – Oscar Johnson – 1948

16. March, 2011|Slider|4 comments

Oscar Johnson (foreground) vs Hubie Vincent.  Notice the linesman with Suit and tie.

ATA Nationals – 1945

16. March, 2011|Slider|23 comments

ATA Nationals - 1945

A gathering of Eagles.  Ivy Ramsay,?  Nana Vaughn,

George Stewart, Ron Fieulleteau,  Ed Van Beverhoudt,

Althea Gibson,Dr. Hubert Eaton, Maceo Hill.  Who knows the others?

Arthur Ashe

16. March, 2011|Slider|One comment

The greatest tennis ambassador in the history of the game!

Althea Gibson

16. March, 2011|Slider|One comment

One of the greatest women tennis players of all time…a model for many to come.


13. March, 2011|Uncategorized|No comments

Welcome to the definitive word on the History of Blacks in Tennis. This website will introduce the reader to the introduction of Blacks to tennis in 1895; the creation of the governing body of Black Tennis, the American Tennis Association, which was established in 1916.  The history of Blacks in tennis is a rich and inspiring legacy that must be preserved.  It chronicles the emergence of an elite black middle class a mere 40 years after slavery was abolished.  This middle class spawned an organization (the American Tennis Association) in 1916 and in less than 50 years, produced 2 world champions in a sport previously unavailable to Blacks.  This is one of the most remarkable feats in human history and should be illuminated as a beacon for all people to emulate.

You will also be able to visit with the standout performers who have been inducted into the Black Tennis Hall of Fame, photographs and playing histories of these individuals, including Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe.

Why is this important?  Because until the lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter! African Proverb