ABC’s Roberts to MC ‘Legends Ball’ to Benefit the ITHF

July 17, 2009

NEW YORK, NY — Robin Roberts, an anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America and one of the most prominent and respected news and sports journalists, will emcee the 29th annual “Legends Ball” to benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum on Friday, September 11, beginning at 6:30 pm at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

The Legends Ball, 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. This special night of celebration will honor a host of tennis luminaries including the Class of 2009 – Donald L. Dell, Andres Gimeno, the late Dr. Robert Johnson and nine-time Grand Slam Champion Monica Seles.

Roberts currently co-anchors ABC News’ “Good Morning America” with Diane Sawyer and continues to travel around the globe reporting for “GMA” and various other ABC News broadcasts. Most recently, Roberts reported live from Los Angeles from the site of the memorial service for Michael Jackson. She has conducted in-depth interviews with numerous newsmakers including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Her many travels include Africa with former President Clinton to bring viewers a firsthand look at the devastating AIDS crisis in that part of the world and Mexico where she scaled the Mayan Pyramids as part of the morning broadcast’s “New 7 Wonders of the World” series. Prior to joining ABC News, Roberts spent many years as an anchor and reporter at ESPN where her many assignments included hosting “SportsCenter” and WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) games and specials. She also contributed to “NFL PrimeTime” and provided reports and interviews from the field.

Roberts graduated cum laude from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications. She was also a standout performer on the women’s basketball team, ending her career as the school’s third all-time leading scorer (1,446 points) and rebounder (1,034). She is one of the only three Lady Lions to score 1,000 career points and grab 1,000 career rebounds. During her senior season, she averaged a career-high 15.2 points per game. Roberts is a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and has worked to aid rebuilding efforts there after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. In March of 2007, Hyperion Books published her first book entitled, “From the Heart: Seven Rules To Live By.” The paperback version entitled “From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live By” which includes an additional chapter chronicling her journey since being diagnosed with breast cancer became available in bookstores around the country on October 7, 2008.

“We are thrilled that Robin Roberts, one of the industry’s most prominent news and sports journalists will emcee the Legends Ball as we pay homage to the game and honor the greats,” said Christopher E. Clouser, Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “We know that Ms. Roberts will entertain and inspire our guests and honorees.

A legendary line-up of tennis greats will also be in attendance, including more than a dozen Hall of Famers and tennis dignitaries. In addition to honoring the Class of 2009, the International Tennis Hall of Fame will present Tennis Channel with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award, which has been previously presented to BNP Paribas (2006); Rolex (2007) and Sony Ericsson (2008). Arthur Ashe and wife Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe will be honored with the Eugene L. Scott Award, previously presented to John McEnroe (2006), Andre Agassi (2007) and Billie Jean King (2008). Additional honorees and announcements will be made shortly.

Guests can also 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, Agassi, 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 Rafael Nadal.

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about the event, call 212-843-1740 or e-mail [email protected]. 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.