Bradenton's Davis heading to Black Tennis Hall of Fame

jdill@bradenton.comJune 17, 2014 

Bradenton's Robert "Bob" Davis is being inducted into the Black Tennis Hall of Fame. Originally from New York City, Davis was a two-time American Tennis Association National Champion (the ATA Junior National title and the Men's Doubles title with his brother, Hall of Famer Bill Davis).

Davis also was a United States Tennis Association Mixed Doubles national champ in 2006.

Aside from playing, Davis' contributions to the game have been immense. He was the national program director for the Ashe/Bollettieri "Cities" Tennis Program (ABC), which later became the Arthur Ashe Safe Passage Foundation. Helping to create the program, Davis was instrumental in introducing tennis to more than 20,000 inner city children.

Davis also created Black Dynamics, Inc., which offered scholarships to the top talented minority youth to IMG Academy's tennis program.

Davis also brought the Panda Foundation Inc. to Manatee County, which was modeled after the Safe Passage Foundation.

The Panda Foundation brought introductory

tennis lessons to more than 500 urban youth each year, and got started at Bayshore Elementary. The programs are free to children.

In 2014, Nick Bollettieri's latest book, "Changing the Game," was released. Davis helped write the biography about the famed tennis coach detailing Bollettieri's personal life and the way he impacted tennis coaching.

The induction to the Hall of Fame will mean Davis will join his brother, who was inducted in 2009.

Anna Maria fishing charter wins annual shark tourney

Sharkslayer Fishing Charters owner Jenah Victory Slayer took first place in the 29th annual Fishin' Franks Bait and Tackle Shark Tournament on Saturday.

Slayer won the tournament by catching a bull shark that was 96 5/8 inches from tip to tail and 76 1/8 inches from tip to fork.

The event was also the last one in the 29-year history due to the research project that the organization supported having ended.

Sharkslayer Fishing Charters, based on Anna Maria Island, only participates in research tournaments and harvests sharks during charters when the shark will be eaten or used for research.

Slayer won $1,200 for the tournament victory, which happened alongside Joe Maisano, who captained the Coral Princess where Slayer snagged the winning shark.

Sunshine State Games yields solid performances

The Sunshine State Games came to the area recently with the Sarasota County Sports Festival at various locations.

Manatee County athletes excelled in the different sports offered June 6-8.

Bradenton's Ron Fulmer won the master senior division of the 900 game in archery with 827 points at the Sarasota Ringling Redskins Complex in North Sarasota.

In lacrosse, the LB3 Monsters -- based in Lakewood Ranch -- finished second in the girls high school division. The team went 1-2 in group play, but defeated the South Florida Select 6-4 in the semifinal before falling 12-1 to the South Florida Elite in the championship game held at Lakewood Ranch's Premier Sports Campus.

Palmetto's Ivars Blums, Bradenton's Prince Knight and Ellenton's Chad Bailey took top finishes in racquetball held at the Sarasota Bath & Racquet Club.

Blums snagged first in the men's 50A division, second in the men's 50A/60B division, third in the men's A division and fourth in the men's Open division.

Knight placed first in the men's 60B division, first in the men's 50A/60B division and second in the men's B division.

Bailey teamed with Sarasota's Rob Lyons for second place in the men's doubles Open/A division.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at jdill@bradenton.com Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill

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