Tennis legend Billie Jean King was on hand May 6 at California State University, Los Angeles to help break ground on the future site of the Rosie Casals/Pancho Gonzalez Tennis Center at the Billie Jean King Sports Complex. The 7,000-foot-center is named in honor of tennis greats Rosie Casals and Richard “Pancho” Gonzalez. This was one of several events to mark the investiture of William A. Covino as Cal State L.A.’s seventh president.
Joining King and Casals at the groundbreaking ceremony were President Covino, Cal State L.A.’s Director of Athletics Dan Bridges, and Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Pam Shriver. Pancho Gonzalez’s family members and representatives of the Pancho Gonzalez Youth Foundation were also taking part in the festivities.
The proposed tennis building consists of two floors. The first floor will include the locker rooms, the training facilities, coaches’ offices and a concessions kiosk. The second will include indoor and outdoor viewing areas, not only for tennis matches, but also for soccer and track and field competitions. There will also be meeting rooms, an activities and learning center and a full kitchen to accommodate hospitality and special events.
The tennis center is the first project in a plan to upgrade all the facilities in the 11-acre Billie Jean King Sports Complex at Cal State L.A., which was named in honor of King in fall 2010. King—who attended Cal State L.A. from 1961 to 1964—was inducted into Cal State L.A.’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the CSU system at the university’s Commencement ceremony in 1997. In August 2009, President Barack Obama presented her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor the United States government bestows upon a civilian.
For more information, call Intercollegiate Athletics at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-3080.