2010 Inductees

Rodney Harmon: In 2008, Harmon made history by becoming the first African American to coach the men’s United States Olympic tennis team and led the group during the Bejing Olympics. He also made history by becoming the first Black Director of Men’s High Performance Tennis for the USTA in 2002. He had an extraordinary junior and professional tennis career. In 1978, at the age of 17, Harmon won the ATA Men’s Singles Championship. In 1979, he won the USTA Boy’s National Hard Court Doubles Championship and the Boys National Clay Court Doubles Championship. While a student at the University of Tennessee, he partnered with teammate Mel Purcell to win the 1980 Men’s NCAA Doubles Championship.In 1982, he became the second African American (Arthur Ashe was the first) to reach the Quarterfinals of the US Open. He was named PTR Professional of the Year in 1988. As the Head Men’s Tennis Coach for the University of Miami, he was named Big East Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1997. Harmon received the International Tennis Hall of Fame Tennis Educational Merit Award in 2008 and was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Hall of Fame in 2010.


Ann Koger: In 1973, Koger made history by becoming one of the first Black women to play on Virginia Slims Women’s Professional Tennis Circuit. She had an illustrious junior and collegiate career and became one of the best tennis players in the world in the 1970s. Koger learned to play tennis in Baltimore’s legendary Druid Hill Park under the guidance of her mother Myrtle Koger (a member of the Baltimore Tennis Club and founder of the Netmen Coed Tennis Club if Baltimore). She work very hard on her tennis skills and won the ATA National Girls 12 and Under Championships in 1961. Ann and her sisters Patricia and Carol were among the first Black tennis stars in the Mid-Atlantic Section of the USTA. The three sisters collected more than 100 trophies in these tournaments.Koger was a star student-athlete at Morgan State University where she was a four-year letterman in basketball, field hockey, volleyball and tennis. From 1969 to 1972, Koger followed Bonnie Logan as the second female member of the Morgan State Men’s Tennis Team where she was second in singles and first in doubles. Incredibly, she placed second in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s (CIAA) Flight I Men’s Doubles Championships. In addition, Koger and Logan became the first Black women athletes to represent a historically Black university in a national collegiate tournament.

In 1968, Logan won the ATA National Women’s Doubles Championship and in 1973 and 1974 she won the ATA National Mixed Doubles Championships. Since , 1981 Koger has been the Women’s Tennis Coach at Haverford College since 1981. She also made history in college basketball by becoming the first woman to officiate an NCAA Division I men’s basketball game.

2010 was a special year for Ann Koger, In addition to being inducted into the Black Tennis Hall of Fame that year, Koger was inducted into the USTA Middle States Hall of Fame and received the Philadelphia Sports Legends Award.



Leslie Allen: In 1981, by winning the Avon Championships of Detroit, Allen became the first African American woman to win a major pro tennis tournament since Althea Gibson won her last tournament in 1958. She beat Hana Mandlikova (a 1994 ITHF Inductee who throughout her career won the women’s singles titles at the Australian, French and US Opens) 6-4, 6-4. Previous winners of the tournament included Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Evonne Goolagong. Allen also made history by becoming the first African American Woman in a French Open Mixed Doubles Final. Allen and Charles Strode lost the final to Barbara Jordan and Eliot Telscher 2-6, 3-6, however they made history nontheless.

Allen graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications. She was a key member of the 1977 USC Women’s National Championship team. On the women’s professional tennis tour Allen reached a high ranking of number 17 in the world making her the highest ranked college graduate in the history of the women’s tour. Allen also won the ATA Women’s Singles Championship in 1977. She currently runs the Leslie Allen Foundation which teaches young people how to succeed in tennis and life and introduces them to behind the scene careers in professional tennis. Allen was inducted into the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame in 2016.



Oscar Johnson: In 1948, Johnson broke through barriers of race and class by entering and winning the integrated USLTA sanctioned Long Beach Junior Open tennis championships in Southern California. This victory qualified him to make tennis history in 1948 by becoming the first African American to enter a USLTA national junior tennis championship. To the great surprise of the White USLTA tennis officials, Johnson went on to make even more significant history by winning the National Junior Public Parks Tournament at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Johnson therefore became the first African American to win a USLTA Sanctioned National Junior Championship.Johnson went on to be a star junior player on the USLTA tennis circuit. However, he frequently faced discrimination at various tournaments throughout the country. Tragically, at events like the 1948 National Junior Indoor tournament in St. Louis, he was forced to hear crowd members yelling racial slurs at him while he was playing. In spite of these challenges he did well on the court. In the St. Louis tournament he lost in the Quarterfinals to a young man named Tony Trabert (a 1970 ITHF Inductee) who would later become the number 1 player in the world.

Johnson won the ATA Men’s Singles Championship in 1950 and was the USLTA Missouri Valley Men’s Singles Champion in 1953. In addition, he and Althea Gibson were the first Black mixed doubles team to compete in the US Nationals. They reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in 1951 losing to Lou Hoad (1980 ITHF Inductee) and Maureen Connolly (1968 ITHF Inductee).

Johnson was drafted to serve in the Korean War and did not get a chance to play competitive tennis for two full years. His incredible athleticism enabled him to rekindle his game and, in 1953, he made history once again by becoming the first African American tennis player to play in the National Hardcourt Championship. That same year he was able to reach the second round of the US Nationals where he lost to Joseph Davis of the US 8-6, 9-7, 3-6, 4-6, 4-6. Johnson was so good as an adult player that in 1954, tennis legend and promoter Jack Kramer (1968 ITHF Inductee) offered him a contract to become a professional tennis player. Unfortunately, he snapped a tendon in his elbow and had to stop playing for a year. Johnson never fully recovered from the injury and never signed that contract. He is one of the many Black tennis players who likely would have become international tennis stars if it were not for the widespread racial discrimination in the sport.

Oscar Johnson



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