2019 Inductee - lenny simpson
Congratulations to Coach Lenny!!!
Below is a short video of Lenny Simpson sharing his origin story. This is a MUST-SEE!
Enjoy the video below of the Induction Ceremony. Katrina Adams introduced Lenny!
You must turn the sound on to hear the speeches.
Watch Coach Lenny's full acceptance speech!
CONGRATS TO COACH LENNY on being named the USTA NC Carlton Harris "Professional of the year"
A very heartfelt "thank you" goes to Michael Jordan. Not only did he donate to the 1406 Orange Street restoration project back when it was just getting started, he sent One Love an autographed copy of his book, "Driven From Within" to be auctioned off at the One Love Annual Fundraising Luncheon. This incredible book is a one-of-a-kind piece of history and gives you insight into the life and career of one of the world's most inspiring people from Wilmington, NC. One Love is extremely thankful for the support and generosity shown to us by Michael Jordan.
Special Thanks to all of the One Love kids and families that attended the Annual Fundraising Luncheon
Special thanks to Frances Weller for
co-hosting the Annual Fundraising Luncheon and for publishing a story about it on WECT-TV 6!
(WECT Video to the right)
You can see the full story and video at WECT's website HERE.
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One Love Tennis
P.O. Box 3112
Wilmington, NC 28406
Call Lenny Simpson at 910-520-9264 or email
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Technical issues? Call Mark Sinclair at 910-777-4733.
On the morning of Tuesday, April 16, 2019, dignitaries from the USTA NC, USTA Southern, USTA National, City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, friends and supporters of One Love surrounded Lenny Simpson as he cut the red ribbon to signify the opening of the historic, iconic tennis court at 1406 Orange Street.
The backyard court is where Dr. Hubert Eaton trained Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Lenny Simpson and so many others. The court had decayed over the years until it was grown over with weeds and there was no visible sign of it remaining. Through the efforts of One Love Tennis, the USTA, and One Love supporters
led by David and Carolyn McLemore, the court has been completely restored to pristine condition.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PICTURE GALLERY
Story by WECT, CLICK TO WATCH
PRESS PLAY to view the 60-second Tennis Channel "Court Report" on the court reopening
ONE LOVE's Lenny & JoAnn Simpson returned to Wimbledon the first week of July 2019 with One Love supporters and friends Michael & Sabrina Davis.
HISTORY REPEATS -AGAIN: a comparison of Coco Gauff and Lenny Simpson in competition at age 15.
Click HERE to read the article. Click HERE to view the WWAY Channel 3 news story & video by Tanner Barth.
See the photo gallery by clicking a picture below or
THE HISTORIC ICONIC COURT IS COMPLETE!
For decades, the historic iconic backyard tennis court at 1406 Orange Street had long faded from view, out of memory except by a very few people. It was 65 years ago when a young Lenny Simpson first walked onto the court and was handed a tennis racket by Althea Gibson. The court was the only tennis court in Wilmington where people of color were welcome. Actually, anyone who behaved themselves and treated others with respect and who wanted to play tennis was welcome.
One Love Tennis has been working on restoring the court to its former glory and now we are happy to say the project is complete! The memories and stories the court holds in its foundation (which is still there under a new surface), are the tales of legends, champions, and pioneers of civil rights and sports equality.
The court will be used for tennis instruction by One Love and will be a save haven for neighborhood kids, just as it was when Dr. Hubert Eaton and his wife, Celeste, lived there. The house is being restored and the entire property will be an active reminder of the world-changing history that stemmed from this property.
One Love once again attended the FED CUP matches in Asheville, NC to watch Team USA play Team Australia. The One Love kids participated in pre-match clinics, participated in the Opening Ceremonies and escorted the players onto the court, and cheered Team USA during the competition. One Love played a big role this year!
The Lenny Simpson Tennis and Education Fund (LSTEF) is a Corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and specifically to develop educational and athletic opportunities and to foster a character-building environment for at-risk youth.
**One Love is a 501(c)3 organization.
ONE LOVE EXCLUSIVELY USES HEAD RACQUETS FOR ALL TENNIS PROGRAMS.
One Love Community Partners
THE LATEST NEWS FROM
ONE LOVE TENNIS!
Beth Rutledge and Carole Bragale visit 1406 Orange Street. They are instrumental in research of the home and moving forward with a historical recognition plaque.
Spectrum News just ran a great story about One Love. Reporter Alexis Bell visited One Love on location at Midtown YMCA and at 1406 Orange Street.
CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY
February 23, 2020: Coach Lenny was guest speaker at the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church as part of their Black History Month celebration. He received a plaque for service to the community and we appreciate the recognition!
Thank you Brigade Boys & Girls Club for recognizing One Love Tennis at the club's annual Appreciation Dinner. Our good friend Harry Kraly was also recognized for the 2019 "Silent Worker" award! Well deserved!
On Sunday, February 9th, Lenny was recognized for his service to the community at St. Stephens AME Zion Church. The award is the Trailblazer's Award given during the Founder's Day Celebration.
It is very special to receive such an honor, especially in your own community and by your peers!
Lenny & Paula Hale of the USTA on stage
Lenny with his daughter, Celeste Slay
Lenny & JoAnn Simpson with the Slay family
Lenny with grandkids Braydon & Bryce Slay and One Love kid, Gabriel Baldwin
One Love has a broken heart in the passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and everyone aboard his helicopter. One Love was working with Kobe's people and the USTA to read, review, and comment on his book, "Legacy & The Queen", and we were honored to work with them. Our relationship was just starting to bloom through the positive reaction Kobe's people had upon receiving our One Love kid's letters about his book. This is a reminder to us all from God that tomorrow is not promised. So today, put aside any personal issues you might feel towards someone and just give them a hug and let them know that you love and care about them.
-Coach Lenny & JoAnn
2019 USTA NJTL FOUNDER'S SERVICE AWARD WINNER!!!!
Lenny Simpson is only the 8th individual in history to receive the prestigious NJTL Founder's Service Award.
This award means more to Coach Lenny than any other.
To find out why, CLICK HERE.
A HUGE "thank you" to Michael Davis and Ashley Robbins of Party Suppliers for the donation of a new Playmate Ball Machine for use at 1406 Orange Street. These are the best in the business and made right here in NC! Our One Love kids are already loving using it!
From SPECTRUM NEWS:
ONE LOVE RELIEF ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The One Love Relief Assistance program focuses on the health and safety of our One Love kids, families and community by providing protective masks and assistance to those who need it most. Because One Love serves so many, we are in a position to be able to directly get help to families with no red tape. We need YOU to help us in this effort. Donate by clicking the "donate" link at the top of the page or the red button wherever you see it. Check the monthly pledge box on our Paypal page and you will make a huge difference in our community! Now is the time to act. Now is the time to join the One Love family!