Friday, April 11, 2008
School board members lead a standing ovation for Plainfield tennis guru Donald Van Blake, who will be inducted into the United States Tennis Association's Hall of Fame on April 18.
Van Blake, who served for over 22 years as the boys' tennis coach at Plainfield High School and founded the Plainfield Tennis Council, became emotional as he described his commitment to tennis in Plainfield.
The board's April 8 resolution honoring Van Blake cited his motto, "Tennis, Tennis, Tennis, Tennis Everyone" while acknowledging his latest honor.
Board member Rasheed Abdul-Haqq recalled Van Blake's influence when he started playing tennis 30 years ago and also Van Blake's attention to his late son.
"He worked with my son and my son loved him," Abdul-Haqq said.
After the meeting, several adults and students came up to Van Blake to give hugs and kisses and congratulations.
Van Blake called the honor the best way to end turning the age of 86.