Regional Legends

The individuals recognized on these pages have committed their lives to enriching the tennis in their communities.  They may have been inducted into regional Halls of Fame, or they may deserve such an honor, regardless, Black Tennis History wants to acknowledge and illuminate their accomplishments for the world to see.  If you know of someone who deserves this type of recognition, send his/her impressive resume and photo to me through our “contact me” page.  You just might see your “Regional Legend” on our site.

West Coast


Don Bly – For more than 41 years, Don has graced the tennis courts, coordinated and participated in tennis-related events in the Los Angeles area.  He specializes in developing and enhancing inner-city tennis programs for children.  He is a very well respected coach, leader, tennis enthusiast, tennis partner and friend to our sport. Don is often referred to the “Godfather of West Coast Tennis” a well-deserved moniker. Don’s volunteer activities are too numerous to mention along with the honors that have been bestowed upon him.  Don was the recipient of the SCTA Diversity and Image Award in 2011 and will undoubtedly be inducted into the West Coast Hall of Fame in the not-too-distant future!  If you visit Los Angeles, say “Hi” to Don and congratulate him for all that he does!

don bly


Don Johnson – Don swept the glass and garbage off the less-than-adequate tennis courts in a ghetto in New York City.  On those courts he started a tennis program for African-American, Hispanic and West Indian children.  Simultaneously, he began a quest to solicit nets, tennis racquets and equipment to help the program.  Don was offered the position of Men’s Tennis Coach for Pratt Institute in New York City.  Using his position there, he convinced the administration to offer a free junior program during the summer months.  They agreed and before long, Don had parlayed that program into a NJTL Program on Pratt’s campus.  There he met NJTL co-founder Arthur Ashe and together they ran the Pratt program for seven years.  Don left New York and moved to San Jose, California.  But, he hit the ground running.  Don established  a free or low cost tennis program for 500 youngsters on the East Side of San Jose. Don received the 2003 AAESHOF Sports Advocate Award; in 2004 he was inducted into the USTA NorCal Hall of Fame and received the USTA NorCal MPC Trailblazer Award; in 2005 he was honored  by USTA NorCal with the Six Degrees of Excellence Award.  He is Founder & Director of Los Paseos Lobsters Junior Tennis program, the Backesto Backhanders Junior Tennis Program and the Bramhall Strings Junior Tennis Program.  There is no question that Don has enriched the lives of thousands of impressionable children and his generosity will never be forgotten. 




Denton Devon Johnson

1900 – 1983

 Denton Devon Johnson was born on October 16, 1900 in Gainesville, Florida. He was the eldest of three children (sister, Rosa and brother, Jack) to Tom and Sarah Johnson. He attended Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. After college, he moved to Detroit and in 1932 married Dorothy Washington. They had four children – Lila Fae, Millicent Velma, Denton Donley, and Robert Martin.

During the 1930’s Mr. Johnson began playing tennis. Partnering with his father-in-law, Robert Washington, and brother-in-law, Clarence Washington, they opened a private clay court tennis club in Detroit. His interest in tennis soon led him to the mentoring of young tennis players, many of whom received 4-year tennis scholarships to college: Jackie Holloway, Debra Bruno, Barbara Aaron (niece of Hank Aaron), and his two sons, Denton Donley and Robert Martin, as well as several others. His move to Eatonville merely continued his tennis legacy.

– Eatonville –

The first incorporated African-American township in the country

 After moving to Eatonville, Mr. Johnson began teaching the game of tennis to Eatonville’s junior players. He knew this would afford them the opportunities that the other young people in Detroit enjoyed. He started a tennis program in which his son Robert participated and soon followed was his first official student, Tina McCall. After playing tennis one year Tina won her first tournament at the Orlando Tennis Center (OTC) at the age of ten.

Mr. Johnson organized a junior tennis team and took the youngsters to various tournaments. His team brought the first Blacks to the Florida tennis circuit. Spectators were so impressed by the quality of play and demeanor of the kids that they donated money to support his efforts. He used these donated funds to build the town’s tennis courts in 1973. He was awarded the Florida Lawn Tennis Association Merit Award for his contributions to amateur tennis in 1971. In 1984, almost two years after his death, Eatonville’s community center was named after him.

Mr. Johnson had asked each of his junior students to give back to the community in any way possible. Tina Waters McCall, one of Mr. Johnson’s early students, became an accomplished player herself. She became the first African-American from Central Florida to earn recognition at state and national levels, the first African-American to receive a four-year scholarship to Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Tina also was awarded Big 10 Championship titles for 4 years at Indiana University and achieved All-American status in her junior and senior years. There is no question that, due to his vision and devotedness to community, Eatonville’s African-American culture is rich and thriving and that dozens of lives have been forever enriched.

 During the first three years of teaching tennis in Eatonville, Mr. Johnson taught many juniors, some of which that continued to play and achieve state and/or national recognition: Tina McCall, Kevin Barnes, Shari Ware, Jerome Clayton, Robert Johnson, Tara Beacham, Vanessa McCall, Jesenia Bruno, and Destiny Wheeler, as well as others.

The tennis program was a new and expensive sport for the Eatonville community. Tina’s mother held many fundraisers that helped allay the expenses, with the assistance from her coworkers at WaterPark Telephone Company.

Mr. Johnson was great at networking and met Carl  Sangree and other tennis people at WaterPark. With the financial assistance from Mr. Sangree and the town of Eatonville under Mayor Vereen, the first tennis court was built. Imagine learning to play the refined game of tennis on a court with concrete surface and a net made of chicken wire. As time passed, Mr. Johnson paved the way for the five players to play at Rollins College under Coach Norm Copland. They were also able to practice on the clay courts under Hugh Waters in the back.

Mr. Johnson’s coaching and knowledge of the game started to speak through the players. Robert Johnson and Tina McCall were now ranked in the top ten players in their age group in the state of Florida.   His legacy still lives on through Denton Johnson Tennis Corporation (DJTC) founded in 2001 by Tina McCall-Waters.

For more information on the DJTC visit:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       



Bobby Curtis – After 30 years of service, there is virtually no aspect of junior tennis in Florida that hasn’t been touched by Curtis, who helped launch what would become the USTA Jr. Team Tennis program, and the careers of numerous college, pro, and life-long recreational players. Curtis, until 1980, worked for the Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida, where he organized junior tennis as the state coordinator. In 1987 the Florida Tennis Association took over the administration of the program that was built by the Youth Tennis Foundation and Curtis, and renamed it Jr. Team Tennis. In 1991 the USTA offered Jr. Team Tennis across the U.S., and today more than 60,000 youth participate in the league.You can go to almost any junior tournament in the state of Florida and if you hang around for just a short time, someone — the tournament director, a volunteer, a parent — will mention how much Bobby Curtis has meant to that tournament or to a player in the tournament, or to Florida junior tennis as a whole,” said USTA Florida President Donn Davis. “The important thing to remember when that happens is that Bobby does it all with absolutely no interest in his own personal gain. He does it all for the kids. That’s what makes Bobby Curtis so special to all of us.”  Bobby is a treasure to tennis in Florida and has made critical contributions to the lives of thousands of juniors.

bobby curtis



Walter Moore

The Black Tennis Hall of Fame recognizes Walter Moore as a 2016 Regional Legend.  Walter has been a dedicated servant of the American Tennis Association and the Philadelphia Tennis Club and community for nearly 6 decades.  He has served on the Board of the American Tennis Association, Vice President of the ATA, Chairman of the ATA Junior Development Committee, Tournament Director, Chief  Referee, Chief Umpire and Charter member of the Philadelphia Tennis Club.  Walter is an ATA National Champion having won the Senior Men’s 60 in 1991, the 70’s in 2006 and doubles titles twice with Nehemiah Atkinson and Roosevelt Thomas as well as mixed doubles with his wife Mara Moore.  Walter has served African-American tennis with conviction, valor and unwavering loyalty.  He personifies dedication and devotion to Black Tennis and the unusual qualities of sportsmanship and honesty and ensuring that his personal legacy involves helping youngsters become better citizens.



Milton Amp Myers – Having been champion in several age divisions doubles tournaments, Milton has also been ranked nationally in USTA and sectionally (the Southern Tennis Association and the Georgia Tennis Association). He has been a positive influence to the growth of tennis in the Black community by volunteering time and effort in several locations, including Crosscourt Racquet Club in Macon, GA. and the Coan Tennis Association in Atlanta.  In addition, Milton has coached several ALTA (Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association) teams that have won City Championships and several USTA teams that have won local, district, sectional and placed in national league play.  He played collegiate tennis at Fort Vally State University where he won Conference Doubles Championships.  Milton has a league  Mixed Doubles win over former 2-time Grand Slam Doubles Champion Ellis Ferreira, who was also the 2000 Australian Open Doubles Champion and 2001 Australian Mixed Doubles Champion.  Milton taught in the public school system for 15 years as a PE teacher where he expose tennis to thousands of children.  He also was the boys middle school tennis coach from1999-2004 in Amerecus,Ga.   Along with his partner Lonnie White, he has assisted in free tennis camps in Moultrie Georgia for the recreation department for the past 10 years.  He is a well respected player and coach in the tennis community because of his hard work and tenacity on the court and his passion for the sport of of tennis as a coach.


Camille Riggs Mosley currently serves as Director of Business Development for Aramark Higher Education. Camille’s targeted focus is the development of strategic relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

This role is very much aligned with her professional experience and her personal passions. Camille has over twenty-five years of experience in sales and business development, management consulting, strategic planning, marketing, training and development. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member with the National Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland, University College and as a guest lecturer at George Washington University, Department of Sociology on issues of race and sports.

She is an active local and national volunteer leader with a number of organizations. Some of her affiliations have included the Posse Foundation DC – Board of Directors, the Morehouse College Metropolitan Washington Parents Association – Founding President, the Links Incorporated and the United States Tennis Association.

Her work with the United States Tennis Association focused on ensuring that access to the opportunities and resources would be available to groups that had been historically underrepresented in the volunteer and professional ranks of the organization. Her early affiliation with the organization in her role as the wife of the late USTA Board Member Dwight Mosley, illuminated the importance of having someone ‘in the room’ when decisions were made that impacted the growth of the game in new communities. One of those communities is the Woodridge area of Northeast Washington, where Camille worked with local government to develop the Dwight Mosley Athletic Complex

Camille served the USTA in several leadership positions including being the first African American to serve on the Nominating Committee. Additionally, she has served on the Executive Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Advisory Group on Committees, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, USTA Serve and as a Council Chair. Her commitment in each role was to ensure that the seats at the table were reflective of the larger tennis community.

A native Washingtonian, Camille holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and has done graduate studies in educational administration and instructional technology at the Catholic University and the University of Maryland. She was married to the late Dwight Mosley, and is the mother of two adult children, Lauren and Kyle Mosley.

Cora Masters Barry

Trailblazer, Change Agent, Community builder, Dream Maker, Motivational Speaker, Sports, Tennis, and Education powerhouse, Cora Masters Barry has literally changed the lives of over 15,000+ District of Columbia inner city youth through the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (SETLC), which she founded in 2001. While First Lady of the District of Columbia, Mrs. Barry founded the Recreation Wish List Committee (RWLC) in 1994 in order to provide safe, state-of-the-art, recreational facilities and environments for underserved DC youth. Since that time, her powerful vision has galvanized local and national business, sports, political, and civic leaders as enthusiastic champions and donors of the SETLC. What makes the SETLC so unique, is that it is a shining star in Washington D.C.’s Ward 8, one of the District’s most underserved and undersourced areas. The SETLC opened in 2001 with a $5.1 million grant from the city. It was remodeled in 2015 with an additional $18 million in funding. 

Fueled by her faith, Mrs. Barry was divinely guided to look at a barren and dirty field, and see a field of achievable dreams, an arena of realizable hopes, an oasis of educational excellence, and a training ground for world-class tennis stars. Her unique brand of leadership in the SETLC is marked by high expectations and elevated standards expectations and that have literally changed

the trajectory of children who face unimaginable odds.2

She envisioned the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center as a place where children could go to enjoy a supervised and structured environment; but also, where they could learn the sport of tennis and life skills, while receiving excellent academic tutoring. Under her outstanding leadership, the SETLC has become much more. The SETLC was named the “Youth Tennis and Learning Facility of the Year,” by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) at the 2005 U.S. Open, and at the same time, was featured on the TBS Network. Since the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center’s inception, it has received numerous awards; has been recognized as a premiere tennis and educational facility; and, has been highlighted on all major networks, including: CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, ESPN News, and in other major publications throughout the world.

As a testament to the extraordinary success of the SETLC-Mrs. Barry’s vision, and her unequalled leadership and business acumen, she has been named the recipient of the

National Recreation and Park Association’s “2017 Robert M. Artz Citizen Advocacy Award,” 

the highest and most prestigious award given out by the Association.

For Mrs. Barry, a political scientist turned youth developer extraordinaire, “Tennis is the hook, but Education…the Key.” The SETLC’s education wing has classrooms, a computer center, and a round room for events and performances. Students are recruited from nearby schools and attend after school programs and the Center’s summer school for help needed to perform at grade level. Her passion for creating new possibilities for area youth has helped them learn and honor their rich heritage, while gaining skills to compete in the high-tech 21st Century culture and economy.

She has turned her passion for African-American history, into the SETLC’s outstanding “Blacks in Wax” program, which features young people depicting and reciting the messages of famous Africans Americans. The scholars of the Center are even styled and wardrobed to look like these heroes. This remarkable educational program has been celebrated at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The White House, and is proudly embraced throughout the District of Columbia as well as across the nation.

Mrs. Barry’s exceptional skills in building strong partnerships has attracted widespread support for the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center from her friends, tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams, as well as tennis legends Pam Shriver and Zina Garrison. She has also developed powerful public-private partnerships with major businesses like Microsoft, Apple, Comcast, Pepco, Nike, and Bank of America. The Center remains the crown jewel of the Recreation Wish List Committee, under the leadership of Mrs. Barry, with its key partner, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, and the support of the entire District of Columbia community.

Beyond her trailblazing work with the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, Cora Masters Barry is described by many as a renaissance woman, skillfully working to break down barriers.



Dr. Emily Moore, a native Long Islander, is the middle child of seven children.  She is a dedicated educator and activist in her community, her country and abroad. Dr. Moore graduated from Morgan State University in Baltimore and went on the obtain her Master of Science Degree from Hofstra University and on December 18, 2015 she received her Honorary Doctorate of Law from Morgan State University.  In 1975 she founded the Alliance Junior Tennis Development, Inc., to use tennis as the vehicle for change and progress in the community. Children between the ages of 4-18 participate in the summer program.  In addition, adults as well as children have the opportunity to compete in tennis tournaments all over the country and abroad.  Dr. Moore is proud of the fat that many of the youth involved in her program have graduated from schools of higher education, many on scholarships.  Tennis legend Arthur Ashe honored her in 1988 with his Junior Tennis Development Award. She also received the Harlem Junior Team Youth Development Award and many, many others.  Dr. Moore also served as a Board Member of the American Tennis Association and the President and second Vice-President of the New York Tennis Regional Organization.  The American Tennis Association also honored her with an award for her excellence in coaching.  Since 2004, Dr. Moore has traveled with Dr. Ron Daniels, President/Founder of the Institute of the Black World 21stCentury, as an Ambassador of Hope and Community Builder for the Haitian Support Project.  In 2007 she was honored as the Cambridge Professional of the Year Representing Education.  In 2008, Dr. Moore was recognized by Cambridge’s Who’s Who for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in youth athletics enrichment.  Dr. Emily Moore has spent her life committed to community service and development.  She has received several awards including the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc.’s Community Service Award, the National Action Network’s Women of Excellence Award, the Sisters in the Struggle 1999 Woman of the Year Award, the 2008/2009 Princeton Premier Honors Edition of Professional Business Leaders and Operation Get Ahead (OGA) and the 18thAnnual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Breakfast Rosa Parks Award. Finally, in 2010, Dr. Moore traveled with People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs with delegation leader Alpha Alexander, Ph.D, Sports and Physical Education Delegation to the Republic of South Africa.  The mission of the delegates was to visit various institutions of educational settings, governmental representatives, cultural institutions and the Department of Sport and Recreation.  Her motto: “Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win.  No Struggle, No Victory.”

Arvelia Myers – began her love affair with tennis in the early 1050’s at the public tennis courts on 151stStreet and 7thAvenue, technically known as Fred Johnson Park but affectionately referred to as “The Jungle.”  She soon began competing in ATA tournaments and obtained a ranking of #3.  However, her real love was in helping other improve their game and personal lives. Her gentle disposition and helpful manner earned the nickname “The Quiet Giant.”  Arvelia graduated from Columbia University with a BA in English.  She received the USTA’s Recreation Award and that same year was honored to be recognized as the ETA’s “Tennis Lady of the Year.”  She founded the Pyramid Tennis Club, a club that was responsible for introducing tennis to hundreds of youngsters.  She also dedicated a significant amount of time to raise funds that would allow Leslie Allen, to stay on the tournament circuit.  Leslie was one of the first African-American females to play professional tennis after Althea Gibson.  Arvelia was a Certified Teaching Professional by the Professional Tennis Registry and received several awards:Harlem Junior Tennis Program Appreciation Award, USTA Community Service Award, Arthur Ashe Special Service Award, ATA Outstanding Service Award, No Ad Pioneer Award, Harlem Week/Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce-Community Service Award, the USTA 10 year Volunteer Service Award, the ETA Louise Cilla Award and many, many others.

Lonnie White, from Conway, S.C. has won at least 40 A.T.A. titles (Singles, Doubles and Mixed doubles) since 1997.  He has won several USTA, District and Southern Championships.  In 1997 he was a member of a USTA 5.0 National Championship team.  Lonnie has been number one in the 35’s, 40’s, 45’s, 50’s, and 55 division singles in the Georgia Section.  He has also been number one in the 35’s, 40’s and 45’s in the USTA Southern Section. He was a high school state champion and while at Grambling State University, he was a member of the SWAC Championships.He has dedicated his life to promoting tennis throughout the country.  In Moultrie, Georgia, where he grew up, he worked with the Boy’s and Girl’s Club to give them free tennis lessons, funded by some of the local businessmen.  In Augusta, GA. Lonnie worked with MACH Academy taking students to tournaments over the country.  More than 20 of those students have gone on to play collegiate tennis.   Lonnie coached at Albany State University, and is currently on the coaching staff at Coastal Carolina University, coaching the men’s tennis team.  He is currently also the head tennis pro at the Myrtle Beach Tennis Center.

Norvell A. Brown – Through teaching the sport of tennis and demonstrating his concern for youth who wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to the game, Coach Brown influenced the growth of tennis in Durham, NC. He helped players of all ages develop a love for the game, but focused his attention on our youth.  Sometimes those less interested in giving to underserved communities thwarted his efforts, but he pressed on!  Coach Brown taught tennis at the youth, high school and adult levels to children of all ages and where possible focused his attention on Black Schools and communities.For the past six decades, Coach Brown has been a major contributor to the tennis community in the North Carolina.  Like many regional legends, his contributions could have been even greater had there not been obstacles  due to his race and his determination to lift and enrich the lives of Black children.  Coach Brown has overcome mighty odds to bring quality tennis to the Black community and still dreams of one day founding a Black Country Club to teach the sport of tennis to boys and girls.  After all, they are the future of tennis.  For more detailed information on Coach Brown’s accomplishments, visit his website at:

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