Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation
P.O. Box 843
Belton, SC 29627
Tennis has a proud history in South Carolina, and much of this history can be found in the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.
Establishing a state hall of fame was the idea and goal of Jim Russell, South Carolina Tennis Association President in 1983 & 1984. Russell established the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation, which was originally organized to support the Hall of Fame, and named Rex Maynard the first chairman. Space was available in two old waiting rooms on the south end of the renovated depot in Belton, long considered the "Tennis Capital of South Carolina." Russell and Maynard raised the funds to refurbish this area, and the Hall of Fame officially opened with a dedication ceremony on June 6, 1984. The Belton Depot and the Hall of Fame were completely remodeled in 2006, and it is now considered one of the best sports museums in the southeast.
The focal points in the Hall of Fame are the portraits of the inductees. These portraits have been painted by Wayland Moore, a Belton native and one of the country's best known sports artists, who now lives in Atlanta. The portraits are done in an impressionistic style with vivid colors. Each inductee also presents a memento from their tennis career which remains on display in the Hall of Fame. Other old trophies, racquets, pictures and books are also on display, including an umpire's chair used at Wimbledon. The Hall of Fame may be entered through the Ruth Drake Museum. The Belton Museum (on the north end of the depot) is open Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 12:00, Friday from 9:00 to 4:00 and Saturday from 9:00 to 1:00. Refer to contacts at the end of this article for more information.
New inductees are selected each year by a Hall of Fame Selection Committee and are inducted during the Hall of Fame Banquet held each December during the USTA South Carolina Annual Meeting. Their portraits are unveiled at the banquet and are hung in the Hall of Fame. Through 2016 the Hall of Fame has 63 inductees.
funds for the Patrons Foundation are received through contributions, fund raising projects and USTA South Carolina. The SCTPF supports much more than just the Hall of Fame, offering grants to individual junior tennis players to help with travel and equipment expenses, grants to youth community programs and assistance with South Carolina high school tennis. Four $2,000 college scholarships are also awarded to incoming college freshmen each year. One of the scholarships is named in memory of Randall G. Heffron, D.M.D. and is funded through the Coastal Community Foundation. A second scholarship is named in memory of the Hall of Fame's founder, Jim Russell. The third scholarship is named in honor of former USTA South Carolina, USTA Southern and USTA President Lucy Garvin. A fourth scholarship, the Foster Family Scholarship is funded by Amy Foster Martin in memory of her parents, Sonny and Jerry Foster, and her brother Larry Foster. Tax deductible contributions are welcome. Checks payable to SCTPF may be mailed to PO Box 843, Belton, SC 29627.
Thank you for your interest in the South Carolina Tennis
Hall of Fame. We encourage you to visit and learn more about the history of tennis in our state.
SC Tennis Hall of Fame and Ruth Drake Museum
Abigail Burden, Museum Curator/Depot Director
50 North Main Street
PO Box 335
Belton, SC 29627
Rex Maynard, Historian
PO Box 843
Belton, SC 29627
Operation hours of the museums are: Wednesday & Thursday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM; Friday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.