Billie Jean King Event To Honor Legendary Coaches
Cal State L.A. prepares for 16th annual athletic fundraiser
LOS ANGELES – The 16th annual Billie Jean King and Friends Event will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2013, at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena and the public is once again invited to the popular event.
This year’s event will include a special presentation of the Joe Shapiro Award to Billie Jean King’s tennis coaches at Cal State L.A., Dr. Joan Johnson and Cameron “Scotty” Deeds. Johnson, as coach of the women’s team, and Deeds, as coach of the men’s team, ran practices together during King’s time at Cal State L.A. The two coaches understood the value to both teams and greatly influenced Billie Jean’s thinking about her career and various social issues.
Johnson, Deeds and King were all charter members of the inaugural Cal State L.A. Hall of Fame class in 1985.
Johnson was a pioneer in the development of women’s sports in Southern California and coached Cal State L.A.’s first women’s tennis team in 1959. She was also the co-coach of the men’s team in 1959.
She helped organize the Southern California Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis League in 1959 and, 18 years later, coached the United States women’s team at the World University Games in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her players at Cal State L.A. included King and 1963 women’s collegiate doubles champions Connie Jaster and Carol Loop.
Deeds was one of the most successful coaches in Cal State L.A. history. His men’s teams won five straight California Collegiate Athletic Association championships and three straight NCAA College Division titles, including the first in 1963. Four of his players won NCAA singles titles and one of his doubles teams won a national championship. In a 13-year period, his teams won 202 out of 220 CCAA matches.
He also served as Cal State L.A.’s Athletics Director from 1965-68 and was the executive director of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association in its founding years. He was later selected to the National Association of College Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame.
The Billie Jean King and Friends Event is the major fund-raiser for the athletics department with proceeds benefiting the student-athlete scholarship fund at Cal State L.A. Billie Jean King is one of Cal State L.A.’s most famous alumna and this event has generated more than $2.8 million in proceeds directed toward scholarships.
The Shapiro Award is presented in memory of Joe Shapiro, who was a member of the Billie Jean King Executive Committee and who worked enthusiastically to assist student-athletes in reaching their educational and athletic goals. The Shapiro Award is given annually to an individual whose work and service to the community promote a positive and lasting impact. Past recipients have included King, Maxine Waters, Chris Evert, Dr. Sally Ride, Chris Evert, Patricia Cornwell, Maria Shriver, Anne Douglas, Frank Deford, Rafer Johnson, Mary Carillo and last year’s honoree, Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Shapiro was also a teacher at Cal State L.A. and the husband of tennis Hall of Famer Pam Shriver.
For more information about the event and sponsorship information, please call (323) 343-3080 or visit the Cal State L.A. Athletics website at www.csulaathletics.com.
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