Tennis great Zina Garrison celebrates two milestones

September 20, 2013

Houston, TX — Legendary tennis player and native Houstonian Zina Garrison will celebrate both the 20th anniversary of the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy and her 50th birthday with gala “A Story of Love,” to be held at The Houstonian Hotel at 7:00pm on Saturday, November 16, 2013. The Academy will proudly honor tennis legend Billie Jean King, presenting her with the 2013 “Service with Love” award for her contributions to the ZGA program, her championship endeavors on and off the court, and for being an ideal role model for today’s youth.

“To celebrate these milestone events together is just amazing,” Garrison says. “On this occasion, I think about the passion I have always had for the game of tennis and about the love that I have for my hometown. This is a huge pay it forward opportunity.”

The gala will serve as the centerpiece for a full weekend’s worth of activities surrounding the dual anniversaries. Olympic legends and gold medalists Carl Lewis and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, plus former two-time World Heavyweight Champion, author, and entrepreneur George Foreman will all be on hand for the festivities, along with other celebrity names to be announced soon.

“Billie Jean King is one of my favorite people,” Garrison says of the iconic tennis champion. “I have learned so much from her.” Garrison adds that track and field superstar Jackie Joyner-Kersee “is so uplifting, so encouraging. She is an amazing woman who is so dedicated helping young people.”

Motivational speaker and journalist Kim Davis will chair the gala, which will raise funds to benefit the Academy.

For two decades, the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy has provided educational support and tennis instruction to underserved children in Houston. The Academy provides 50 weeks of free programming each year, helping young people to discover their individual talents, stay healthy, and become future leaders in the community while learning the sport of tennis. Tickets are $300 per person. For individual tickets and information on tables and group packages, please visit

About Zina Garrison

Zina Garrison began playing tennis at the age of ten under the instruction of John Wilkerson, the director of tennis at Houston’s MacGregor Park. Garrison won 14 singles titles and 20 doubles titles during a career that was highlighted by a Gold Medal in Women’s Doubles and a Bronze Medal in Women’s Singles at the 1988 Olympics. She won the Mixed Doubles title at Wimbledon in 1988 and 1990.

About the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy

The mission of ZGA is to develop stars in the classroom, on the tennis court, and in the community by providing educational support, positive role models, parent education, and excellent tennis instruction. The Zina Garrison Academy provides 50 weeks of free programming each year for all children in the Houston area. This tennis and leadership academy was founded in 1993 by legendary tennis professional and native Houstonian Zina Garrison. Over the past two decades, the Academy has targeted underserved youth, helping them to discover their individual talents, stay healthy and fit, and become future leaders in the community while learning the sport of tennis. During this time, the Academy has provided services to over 25,000 children. For more information, visit