The Story of Our Courts....
The article below was written by USTA Eastern and featured on their website October 31st, 2011.
More than a year has passed since Army Ranger Spc. Joey Dimock died in Afghanistan.
But what Joey died for lives on in the minds of the players that visit Cross Court Tennis Club, the facility his Uncle Louis owns in Wappinger Falls, NY.
That’s because an American flag from World War II has been hanging on the rafters of the club and since August, all 14 of the club’s courts - 6 indoor and 8 outdoor – are painted in red, white and blue.
"It’s a tribute not just to Joey, but to the millions of Americans who have fought for our country," said Louis. "Their sacrifices have protected the freedom that we all enjoy today.
"Joseph’s parents, Joseph and Ellen Dimock, were touched by the new colors of the courts.
"The red, white and blue tennis courts are spectacular," said Joseph Dimock. "We are truly honored that Joey's life and sacrifice is the inspiration for this project."
Origins of the Courts
The idea for the patriotic courts came to Louis last year, when he was discussing plans with a contractor to resurface the courts, something the club does about every 10 years. The contractor suggested changing the colors of the courts to show members they had been upgraded.
Dimock looked up at the American flag that had been hanging since April, and asked if the courts could be painted red, white and blue. The contractor said yes, and Dimock went on a search looking for courts that featured the colors.
The only ones he found were at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where the Hershey Tennis Courts were painted red, white and blue in the school colors.
Chris Johnson, the Head Tennis coach at Liberty, said everyone at the school loves the colors.
"We have also had several nice compliments from visitors coming to play at our facility," said Johnson. "The ball shows up nicely on the blue courts and the red outside as well. We are very pleased with them!"
Dimock says the response to the new colors of the courts so far has been overwhelming. Not only are people enjoying the new surface, but they also appreciate the message.
Many people are expressing their patriotism.
But Dimock is not stopping there. Dimock, a former president of USTA Eastern, is hoping one day to have the US Open courts sport the colors: red, white and blue."
To play the US Open on the colors of the American flag would be fantastic," said Dimock. "It would truly express what it means to be an American."