Home PRESS RELEASE Maurice ‘Mo’ Hunter’s Legacy Honored in International Tennis Hall of Fame’s ‘Breaking Boundaries in Black Tennis’ Exhibit

Maurice ‘Mo’ Hunter’s Legacy Honored in International Tennis Hall of Fame’s ‘Breaking Boundaries in Black Tennis’ Exhibit

by Ohio Digital News

Renowned Tennis Legend Included in Collection Honoring Black Athletes Around the World Who Forever Changed the Game of Tennis

Renowned tennis legend Maurice “Mo” Hunter, a trailblazer and visionary who shattered the barriers of his sport both on and off the court, is featured in Breaking Boundaries in Black Tennisthe International Tennis Hall of Fame’s digital exhibit celebrating athletic excellence and spotlighting players who forever changed the game. Hunter is one of nine new trailblazers featured in the living exhibit, which launched in February 2022 as part of its Black History Month celebrations.

“As an amateur and professional player, and even more so as a coach, ‘Mo’ Hunter inspired thousands and thousands of young people,” said Cherisse Goedhart, Hunter’s sister and a principal of CMG Company, which is honoring Hunter’s remarkable life with a commitment to creating unique concepts in promoting Black tennis, including promotion spots, movies, and history-filled books. “With the narration of his life, we hope to inspire fans and aspiring players alike for generations to come.” 

This International Tennis Hall of Fame honor comes on the heels of the Black Tennis Hall of Fame announcement earlier this month that Hunter will be posthumously inducted later this year as its 2024 Regional Legend.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame, which preserves and promotes the history of tennis and celebrates its champions to inspire the growth of tennis globally, has so far spotlighted 94 individuals representing 25 nations in Breaking Boundaries in Black TennisThe digital collection tells the inspiring stories of the first determined Black athletes who dared to compete in tennis tournaments that had banned their entry, as well as those who are enjoying the fruits of their success today, and chronicles the behind-the-scenes commitment of Black contributors whose off-court activities set the stage for even further boundaries to be broken.

“Hunter’s true impact on the sport lies largely off the court, due to his extensive coaching and community efforts,” the organization writes in his profile. Hunter spent more than 18 years developing community programs in Los Angeles and in his hometown of Detroit, including establishing F.A.C.T. (Future Athletic Champions of Tennis), a nonprofit organization providing instructional tennis programs for children between the ages of 8 and 18. For over 32 years, Hunter’s organization gave over 1,500 underserved youths the opportunity for tennis to impact their lives in the same way as it did his. He later revived the Los Angeles City College tennis program after a 20-year hiatus, acting as its head coach. “Hunter’s legacy of public service left a lasting impact not only on his local tennis community, but the sport as a whole.”  

After more than a half-century in tennis, Hunter passed away in October 2022, concluding a remarkable journey in the sport. Born in 1957, he learned to play tennis as a pre-teen in Detroit and, using an old wooden Wilson racket, he won his first trophy under the tutelage of a local tennis club in 1968. He quickly became a champion high school player, earning 63 victories in the Public School League and appearing in the May 1974 issue of Tennis Illustrated magazine as the ATA Championships boys’ 16 singles winner. 

Hunter, who learned the game on the Northwestern Field courts in his hometown of Detroit, earned a scholarship in 1977 to play for Coach Larry Riggs, son of tennis champion Bobby Riggs, on the Pepperdine University tennis team in California. This is where he cemented his reputation as one of the finest Black players in the United States. In his first year, Hunter won a match against Walter Redondo, a top junior player who would later reach the Round of 16 at Wimbledon as a doubles player, and then during his first National Circuit, he defeated UCLA’s John Austin (brother of Tracy, the former top-ranked player in the world), who would go on to reach a No. 40 world ranking. After his first season at Pepperdine, Hunter was quickly earning comparisons to Arthur Ashe.   

In July 1979, Hunter turned professional and won the Sullar Men’s Invitational in Michigan City, Indiana, the USTA Grand Prix Circuit Tournament in Chicago and the Michigan Open Tennis Championships, receiving a standing ovation after his historic finish — the first Black player to win the Men’s Singles Title in the tournament’s 30-year history. Maurice “Mo” Hunter eventually reached a career peak ranking of No. 309 worldwide. 

“In those days, it really took the heart of a lion to compete,” Goedhart says. “For those grassroots-trained competitors like Mo in this era of time, they began their careers right after the civil rights movement when the government cut funding of the programs they trained under. Not to mention, they were playing for low prize money compared to their peers.” 

For information on Maurice Hunter in Breaking Boundaries in Black Tennis, please visit https://breakingboundaries.tennisfame.com/players/maurice-hunter

For media inquiries and special appearances of the family of Maurice “Mo” Hunter, please contact Cherisse Wilson Goedhart, CMG Company, at cherisse.wilson@icloud.com

For more information on Maurice Hunter, please visit https://cmg-company.newswire.com

About CMG Company

CMG Company is a premier emerging group producing unique style concepts in Black tennis promotion spots, motion pictures and historic stories for book publication.

Source: CMG Company

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