Two area tennis players inducted into USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame

Bob Bates, left, and Wilbur Jones, right, are two of the newest members of the USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame.
Bob Bates, left, and Wilbur Jones, right, are two of the newest members of the USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame.

Bob Bates, Prairie Village, and Wilbur Jones, Shawnee, were inducted into the United States Tennis Association Missouri Valley Hall of Fame last week.

Bates and Jones are being joined by Mark Johnson of Henryetta, Okla.

Bates is a long-time volunteer and official, and successful player. Bates has served as volunteer for USTA Heart of America for more than 40 years. During that time, he served three terms are president, and four terms as treasurer. He also served as vice president of USTA Missouri Valley. He spent 20 years as an official, officiating at the US Open six times. He also was an official for the USTA Clay Court Championships, NAIA Championships as well as NCAA and World Team Tennis Matches. On the court, Bates played as the No. 1 singles player on the University of Minnesota freshmen team, and won 20 district and sectional doubles championships. He also earned eight trips to USTA League National Championships, captaining five of the teams.

Jones is a successful player and coach, who has won a number of USTA tournaments. Jones first picked up a tennis racquet at age 35, and quickly became competitive. After learning the game at the Kansas City Racquet Club, Jones went on to be a successful tournament and league player. He played on and captained numerous USTA Heart of America adult, senior, super senior and mixed double leagues. His teams won three USTA League Senior National Championships.