Blair's Jim Jorgensen is one of United States Tennis Association (USTA) Nebraska's newest hall of fame inductees.
Doug Hartman of Fremont, Troy Saulsbury of Kearney and Jorgensen were honored Sunday evening during the 38th Annual Nebraska Tennis Association (NTA) Hall of Fame Awards Banquet at Fremont Golf Club. USTA Nebraska and the Fremont Tennis Association hosted the event, which was attended by approximately 170 people.
Jorgensen's brother, Richard, said he is “a very fine tennis player” who graduated from Dana College in 1966 as a baseball player. Jim later worked with YMCA and Arlington Public Schools, but also became Dana's Dean of Students where he gained an interest in tennis.
From there, Jim Jorgensen taught the sport in Blair for several years in the 1970s and 1980s. He is a National Public Parks champion in singles and doubles and competed for more than three decades in USTA leagues. The left-hander ranked as high as first in singles and doubles in the state.
Previous NTA inductee Jim Johnson, a former doubles partner of Jorgensen's, said Monday that five committee members make hall of fame selections. UTSA Nebraska sticks to its hall of fame guidelines each year after inducting Frank Fochek into its first class in 1982.
Going into the 2019 class alongside Jorgensen were Hartman and Saulsbury, who qualified on their own merits. Hartman was the Midland University tennis coach for 21 years, according to a Fremont Tribune article, while Saulsbury is the current coach at Kearney High.
The Tribune added that Justin and Sara Bigsby of Fremont were to be honored as the Tennis Family of the Year during Sunday's ceremony.
Jorgensen spoke at his induction, detailing his journey from baseball to tennis. The two-time Dana College Athletic Hall of Fame inductee acknowledged those who've been most influential to his athletic journey.
The Blair tennis player, who is a former Nebraska Adult Player of the Year and Grand Slam Tournament Winner, remains active in the sport. In June, he finished eighth in the men's age 75 singles division of the National Senior Games in Albuquerque, N.M. He said he also played doubles, enjoying his time in the Southwest.
USTA Nebraska President Heather Blumel said the best way to support the organization is to become a member and play in local tennis leagues.