April 16, 2013
Before an exciting Senior Day upset over No. 8 Kentucky on Sunday, several members of the athletics development staff and donors gathered for a reception on the Carolina Tennis Center concourse. As the teams warmed up on the courts below, Athletics Director Ray Tanner spoke to the group thanking them for their support for a great facility, which is set to receive some added construction of team rooms on the lower level. Fan and donor support makes these facility improvements possible.
Several families were recognized for their generous gifts to name different areas of Carolina Tennis Center. Shannon and Ethan Nord's family name now graces the men's scoreboard. Tracy and Charles Hardaway donated to name two courts, one in their name and one in honor of Tracy's parents, Connie and Bill Timmons. The Wilkins Family rounded out the group with the Wilkins Family Court. Each court now bears signage with its new name, and each family was presented with a commemorative plaque.
For many donors, a love of the sport of tennis and family inspired their gift to the facility.
"My mom and dad met on the tennis court. We played since we were kids and my dad played into his eighties so it was a way to recognize them," said Ethan Nord, whose gift supported The Nord Family Scoreboard. "I played tennis through college for USC Aiken, so I'm happy to be able to support now."
"We're big tennis supporters, we've all been playing tennis for 30 or 40 years," said Charles Hardaway. "I played college tennis and [my wife, Tracy] played league tennis. We have been state and mixed doubles champions, nationally ranked. We're big Gamecock fans. She's a graduate, our kids are graduates, it's just near and dear to our heart. We had a chance to do something for tennis."
Gamecock Tennis alumnus and Richland County Councilman Seth Rose, who brings his family to matches often, was also on hand for the event.
"It's bittersweet; To see the place I played so many battles not be here anymore is sad, but at the same time I'm excited for the program because our facility is where it should be now," said Rose. "It's exciting to see what's going on with the athletics department and all the successes we're having."
The 22nd-ranked men's team would go on to play a thrilling match vs. No. 8 Kentucky. Senior Harry Menzies celebrated his Senior Day in the best way possible, rallying to win his third set and deliver a 4-3 win. The Wildcats had closed within a point of winning the team match, but Thiago Pinheiro and Kyle Koch won their matches to set up Menzies' heroics in the final regular-season match of his career. It is South Carolina's first top-10 victory since April 2005, and the Gamecocks' school-record tying seventh SEC win of the season. Read the full match recap and watch highlights here.
Photo Slideshow of the donor reception:
Thank you to the following for your generous gifts to the Carolina Tennis Center:
- Women's Sports
- Fan Zone
- Gamecock Club
- Academic Services
- Active Gamecocks
- Annual Reports
- Brag Points
- Communications and Public Relations
- Community Outreach
- Compliance Services
- Facility Rentals
- Facility Projects
- Football Strength & Conditioning
- Gamecock Gala
- Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise
- General Releases
- All Access