Billie Jean King to be Honored at ‘Legends Ball’

August 18, 2008

NEW YORK, NY — The premier social event of the tennis season, the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s “Legends Ball” returns to Cipriani 42nd Street, in New York City on Friday, September 5th at 6:30 pm — the last Friday of the US Open. This special night of celebration will honor Billie Jean King, the Class of 2008 — Michael Chang, Mark McCormack and Eugene L. Scott — and a host of tennis luminaries.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the third annual Eugene L. Scott Award to Hall of Famer Billie Jean King. The award honors an individual who embodies Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. Scott founded Tennis Weekmagazine and wrote the most widely read and well-respected column about the sport, “Vantage Point.” Andre Agassi was honored last year while John McEnroe received the inaugural award in 2006.

“It is an honor to receive this award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” said Billie Jean King, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. “It also is rewarding to be honored with an award named after Gene Scott. Gene brought all of himself to tennis — as a player, a writer, a promoter and as an influencer of the sport. He asked the tough questions and made us stop and think about what tennis means to all of us. Gene only wanted what was best for tennis and we need to keep his legacy alive.”

“For more than 40 years, Billie Jean King has been a positive voice for change, so it is fitting that we recognize her for this important role she has played in tennis and society,” said Mark Stenning, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. “Attendees can once again expect to mingle with tennis royalty, honor the greats of the game, bid on unique memorabilia and experiences in our silent and live auction and enjoy the electric atmosphere and great food that Cipriani is famous for.”

The event, held annually since 1980, brings the tennis world together to celebrate the history of the game and honor some of the sport’s great contributors all while raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. A legendary line-up of tennis greats will be in attendance, including more than a dozen Hall of Famers, tennis dignitaries, the event’s Player Co-Chairs Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Owen Davidson plus Co-Chairs, Phil de Picciotto,President of Octagon Athletes & Personalities, Alexander M. Seaver, Managing Director of Stadium Capital Management LLC, and Peter Palandjian, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

In addition to honoring Ms. King and the “Class of 2008”, the event will also recognize Sony Ericsson for the company’s ongoing contribution to tennis with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award. Last year, Rolex was recognized with the Cullman Award and in 2006, the French company BNP Paribas received the inaugural award.

Guests will also have the opportunity to bid upon once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unique items in a silent and live auction. In the past, auction items have included hit sessions with tennis luminaries Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Pam Shriver; ticket and travel packages to Grand Slam events; a meet and greet with Tiger Woods; golf at legendary courses like Winged Foot; and autographed tennis memorabilia from Roger Federer, James Blake and Andre Agassi.

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about the event, call 212-843-1740 or e-mail The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Newport, RI, is to preserve the history of tennis, inspire and encourage junior tennis development, enshrine tennis heroes and heroines and provide a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide.