The United States Tennis Association of South Carolina and the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation are proud to announce that Cindy Babb of Mount Pleasant and Charles Hodgin of Sumter will be the 2019 South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame inductees.
Whether Cindy Babb is playing tennis or volunteering, her undying love for the sport undergirds her success on the court. Babb has been actively involved as a player and volunteer since she moved to South Carolina in 2004.
She has been ranked among the top three singles players in South Carolina for 12 years, including number one for five years and number one in doubles since 2005. She has been ranked the number one singles player in the south five years and the number one in doubles 13 years. Babb earned national rankings of number four in singles and number one in doubles in 2016, the year she won the USTA National Grass Court Singles Championships. She has six silver balls for finishing second and ten bronze balls for finishing third in USTA national championships doubles competition. She has been ranked among the top fifteen players in the nation 13 years.
In addition to her excellent playing record, Babb is a person of high character both on and off the court. She has received numerous awards, including the 1999 USTA Mid-Atlantic Sportswoman of the Year, the 2009 Michael E. Bambauer Distinguished Competitor Award at the Alan Fleming Tournament, the 2016 Betty Gray Washington Sportsmanship Award and the 2016 Margaret Russo National Senior Women’s Sportsmanship Award.
Babb has represented South Carolina at the local, state, section and national levels for 15 years. She has been a member of the USTA South Carolina Senior Cup Committee and captained the women’s team since 2008, having played on the team since 2005. Babb was selected as the USTA South Carolina Female Player of the Year in 2014. Cindy has served on the USTA Senior International Committee, the USTA Seeding Committee and has been vice-chair of the USTA Adult Competition Committee. She has chaired the USTA Southern Adult Competition Committee and is the Captain of the Southern USTA Intersectional Team. Cindy served as president of the National Senior Women’s Tennis Association in 2014-15 and continues to serve the association as an ambassador. Babb is a leader, organized, prepared and enthusiastic, always promoting the game of tennis.
Charles Hodgin has been an avid tennis player, high school coach and teaching pro since settling in Sumter in 1957. He is well known and respected throughout South Carolina and Southern tennis circles. His competitive spirit, sportsmanship, honesty and integrity, along with his instruction and leadership skills have been instrumental in building tennis in Sumter for more than 50 years. He is regarded as an icon of grassroots tennis, and his support for tournaments helped grow the game and instill a love of tennis in those he taught, partnered with and competed against.
Hodgin competed as a player in state and southern age group tournaments, 35’s through the 80’s, for over 44 years and has had a stellar tournament career. He earned his first state ranking in 1968 when he was No. 2 in Men’s 35’s Singles. Charles was ranked among the top four in South Carolina for 10 years from 1971 to 1980 in singles and doubles. He was ranked No. 5 in the south in Men’s 45’s singles in 1976 and No. 3 in Men’s 50’s Singles in 1980. Hodgin was ranked among the top three in South Carolina in singles and doubles from 1987 to 1991, including several years as number one. He continued to play tournament tennis from 1992 to 2012 and was consistently ranked among the top-five in the state and top-15 in the south in his age division.
During his twelve years as tennis coach at Edmunds High School in Sumter, Hodgin’s teams never had a losing season. He began his teaching pro career in 1971 and taught youth and adults as a PTR pro. After retiring from high school coaching, he coached his children, Chuck, Mark and Marian. Chuck reached number eight nationally in Boy’s 14’s Singles and Mark and Chuck attained number one rankings in Boys 12’s through 18’s in South Carolina and the south. Chuck went on to play at the University of South Carolina, and Mark played at the College of Charleston, both on Division I tennis scholarships.
Hodgin was instrumental in the development of the Sumter Tennis Association and supported their efforts to host new tournaments and solicit corporate sponsors. He was the face of Sumter tennis for several decades and influenced the development of the 24-court Palmetto Tennis Center where the center court is named in his honor. He was chosen several times to represent South Carolina as a member of the Senior Cup team. The Hodgin family was named the 1986 South Carolina Tennis Family of the Year. Hodgin was always one of the top players who competed in many tournaments and exhibited sportsmanship and respect for opponents.
Babb and Hodgin will become the 67th and 68th inductees during the annual Hall of Fame Banquet scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7 on Hilton Head Island. The South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame was established in 1983 and is supported and operated by the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation, a charitable organization which works in partnership with USTA South Carolina to help grow the game. The Hall of Fame is located in the historic train depot in Belton, S. C.
For more information about the Hall of Fame ceremony, visit sctennis.com/annualmeeting.