Legendary tennis player and native Houstonian Zina Garrison will celebrate both her return to Houston full time and the 22nd anniversary of the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy (ZGA) with a Tennis Party at the University of Houston’s Football Stadium and Club room on Saturday, November 21, 2015.
Not only are Zina and ZGA celebrating 22 years of service to more than 25,000 Houston area youth, they are also celebrating a new partnership with the University of Houston and their return to Homer Ford Tennis Center at MacGregor Park.
They are honored to celebrate the work and commitment of three community legends: Jerry Finger, Gerald Hines, and Melanie Lawson. Each is a perfect example of winners in their careers, personal lives, and commitment to the community and of course to ZGA.
The Zina Garrison Tennis Academy’s overarching purpose is to coach kids through life. ZGA uses tennis as a platform to help young people develop discipline and excel in education. That makes us a perfect fit for the goals of U of H to further serve others and by continually volunteering more than one million hours a year to our Houston community.
ZGA is so much more than a youth sports program. In addition to offering free tennis instruction after-school and during the summer, ZGA offers a series of fitness, academic support, and life skills programs that help participants stay fit and active, succeed in school, and gain the confidence they need to avoid negative influences.
“To celebrate these milestone events together is just amazing,” said Garrison. “At times like this, I think about the passion I have always had for the game of tennis and the love that I have for my hometown. It’s awesome to be able to help so many kids. This is a huge pay it forward opportunity.”
A few of Garrison’s friends are coming to Houston for the ZGA Tennis party. Track and field superstar Jackie Joyner-Kersey, Actor Boris Kodjoe, and Actress Lynn Whitfield are among those joining the celebration. Grammy nominated jazz musician Melvin Jones is leading a group of musicians that will provide entertainment for the evening with Houstonian Jennifer Holiday and Actress/Singer Grace Gibson.
For two decades, the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy’s mission has been to develop stars in the classroom, on the tennis court, and in the community. They have provided educational support and tennis instruction to over 25,000 underserved children in Houston. The Academy provides free programming year-round, helping young people discover their individual talents, stay healthy, and become future leaders in the community while learning the sport of tennis.
About Zina Garrison
Zina Garrison began playing tennis at the age of ten and was coached by John Wilkerson at Houston’s MacGregor Park. Garrison won 14 singles titles and 20 doubles titles during a career highlighted by a Gold Medal in Women’s Doubles and a Bronze Medal in Women’s Singles at the 1988 Olympics. She won the Mixed Doubles title at Wimbledon in 1988 and 1990 and reached the Wimbledon Single’s final in 1990.
For information on the Zina Garrison Academy visit the website: www.zinagarrison.org.