Shelby's Social Diary

Tennis legend joins Zina Garrison as a new state of the art Houston tennis facility is revealed

Tennis legend joins Zina Garrison for new state of the art facility

1 Zina Garrison, from left, Billie Jean King and John Wilkerson at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Zina Garrison, from left, Billie Jean King and John Wilkerson at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
3 Jackie Joyner Kersey, from left, Calvin Murphy and Linda Elliott at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Jackie Joyner Kersey, left, Calvin Murphy and Linda Elliott at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
12 Kelly Gale Amen, left, and David Buckstein at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Kelly Gale Amen, left, and David Buckstein at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
7 Lori McNeil, from left, Liz Oppenheimer and Charann Thompson at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Lori McNeil, from left, Liz Oppenheimer and Charann Thompson at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
11 Hardy and Amy Murchison at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Hardy and Amy Murchison at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
10 Linda and Steve Albert at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Linda and Steve Albert at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
9 Chanda Rubin, left, and Kim Davis at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Chanda Rubin, left, and Kim Davis at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
8 Dave Black, from left, Heidi Geiger and Kevin C. Watson at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Dave Black, from left, Heidi Geiger and Kevin C. Watson at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
6 Kathy and Steve Lerner at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Kathy and Steve Lerner at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
4 Shannon Gardner, left, and Katrina Adams at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Shannon Gardner, left, and Katrina Adams at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
5 Dominick and Barbara Sasser, from left, Emily Sasser and Keith Bray at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
Dominick and Barbara Sasser, from left, Emily Sasser and Keith Bray at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
1 Zina Garrison, from left, Billie Jean King and John Wilkerson at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
3 Jackie Joyner Kersey, from left, Calvin Murphy and Linda Elliott at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
12 Kelly Gale Amen, left, and David Buckstein at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
7 Lori McNeil, from left, Liz Oppenheimer and Charann Thompson at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
11 Hardy and Amy Murchison at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
10 Linda and Steve Albert at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
9 Chanda Rubin, left, and Kim Davis at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
8 Dave Black, from left, Heidi Geiger and Kevin C. Watson at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
6 Kathy and Steve Lerner at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
4 Shannon Gardner, left, and Katrina Adams at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013
5 Dominick and Barbara Sasser, from left, Emily Sasser and Keith Bray at the Zina Garrison Academy's 20th Anniversary Gala November 2013

The close friendship between tennis great Billie Jean King and homegrown talent Zina Garrison began a few decades ago when Zina was a kid just getting seriously into the sport. King served as her mentor and continued as a close friend throughout their careers and beyond.

(Garrison was a finalist in Wimbledon in 1990, a three-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion and a women's doubles gold medalist in the 1988 Olympic Games.)

In fact, King has been an avid supporter of the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy since it was founded 20 years ago with the goal of taking tennis to inner city children. For that loyalty and support, King was honored at the 20th anniversary gala Saturday night at The Houstonian with the Service With Love Award. Garrison and King are currently both coaching Taylor Townsend.

Close to 350 guests applauded King and Garrison while raising more than $250,000. They also applauded the surprise announcement that the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy and the University of Houston women's tennis team will share space in a new state-of-the-art tennis facility. The program will include housing for the academy and for its mentoring programs focusing on leadership, counseling, mentoring and tutoring.

Key players in the evening included emcee KTRK Channel 13 news anchor Melanie Lawson, gala chair Kim Davis, academy president Nancy Lerner and academy executive vice president Linda Elliott.

The crowd of tennis buffs and academy supporters included Wendy and Jeff Hines, Kelli and Eddy Blanton, Kelly Gale Amen, Eileen Campbell and Doug Perley, Jeanne and Joe Gillen, Isabell and Andrew McKinney, Carin and Todd Barth, Ryn and Russell Bowers, and Mindy and Steve Brown.