Take 5 with Vicki Everette
Our monthly “Take 5 with a North Carolina Tennis Hall of Famer” interview series continues with Vicki Everette. She was inducted into the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in 2001 as an “Administrator/Volunteer”. Some of Vicki’s career highlights include:
-Winning over 14 North Carolina State titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles
-Serving as President for the North Carolina Tennis Association and the North Carolina Tennis Foundation
-Serving as a board member for the Southern Tennis Association
-Captaining North Carolina’s Southern Senior Cup Team
Vicki Everette continues to reside in Winston Salem where she has made a huge impact on the tennis community. It is also worth noting that Vicki and her husband Maurice Everette are the only husband and wife combination who have been inducted into the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame. The Everett’s have made such an impact on tennis in North Carolina and we are so happy to have them both in the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.
Q: What does it mean for you to be in the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame?
A: It is a wonderful feeling. When I first got the call I was in disbelief, I never thought in a million years I would be considered for the Hall of Fame. Since then I have tried to continue to give back to the game so I am deserving of this great honor. The Hall of Fame is made up of a wonderful group of people and I feel so grateful to be a part of that group. I try to present myself every day in way that would make the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame proud of me.
Q: Do you remember who called you and let you know you were getting into the Hall of Fame?
A: It was Mildred Southern. When she called I thought she was trying to get me to join a committee or something. But when she told me I was being inducted into the Hall of Fame, I was in total shock and thought she had the wrong number.
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your tennis career?
A: Without a doubt it was Mildred Southern. When I moved to Winston Salem, I met Mildred very early on. She asked me to be on a committee and it was all history from there. I cannot tell you how many people could tell you a story about how Mildred impacted their lives. She was incredible with her passion for tennis and she had a talent to make everyone one around her feel the same way. Not only would she get you involved, she would mentor you and be by your side the whole way. She would always praise you and let you know that you were making a difference. She is truly an inspiration for me and I would not be where I am today if our paths had not crossed.
Q: What is your favorite on court memory?
A: I have two memories. I started going to tournaments when I was 35 years old. When I would go to a tournament I would always draw the #1 seed, it would usual be June Sheppard or Dickie Tyler. Dickie was 6 feet tall and a heck of a player. She would always beat me 6-0, 6-0 and it really was not even that close. I probably should have been embarrassed but I am very competitive and I thought maybe one of these days I could beat her. Fast forward a few years to the North Carolina State Even’s Tournament in Winston Salem and once again I drew Dickie Tyler. We had been sent from Hanes Park to play at Forsyth Country Club on court 9. For some unknown reason on that day I could not miss. I ended up winning the match and to this day I still have the can of balls from that match.
My other fondest memory was again at a state tournament in Winston Salem but this time it was the Mixed Doubles State Tournament. Maurice and I were playing together and I think it was the first time we had ever played together in a state tournament. You know how it is when a husband and wife play together and things aren’t going well. Needless to say things were not going well. After another lost game, I turned around to Maurice telling him what to do. Everyone knew Maurice was a much better player than I was, he stopped and looked at me and said, “There is only one captain on this team and it’s me.” I said, “Yes sir” and I don’t think we lost another game after that. So what had started as one of our worst matches turned into one of my favorite wins.
Q: If you could play any player from any era, who and where would you play?
A: When I first got enthusiastic about tennis I used to go to the Family Circle Cup in Hilton Head. My favorite player back then was Chrissy Evert. She was always such a lady on the court and always was dressed wonderfully. She was the epitome of what I thought a tennis player should be. To have the opportunity to play her at the Family Circle Cup would be amazing. I would love to see if I could return some of her shots.
Q: What does it mean for you to be a part of the Winston Salem Tennis community?
A: To see the work that John Peddycord and Tom Peatross and their wives gave to tennis is truly inspiring. When you see all of the hard work that Harold and Mildred Southern put into the sport you couldn’t help but to get involved. I don’t know that Maurice and I had any influence but we were so fortunate to have great people in Winston Salem who cared so much about the sport. Being around all these great people make you want to do more and continue to give back. We loved being a part of it and it’s been a great ride.
Q: What would you like to ask a North Carolina Tennis Hall of Famer?
A: How has being in the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame influenced your life?
Thank you for reading this month’s installment of “Take 5 with a North Carolina Tennis Hall of Famer”. If you have a Hall of Famer you would like us to catch up with please let us know. To learn more about the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Tennis Foundation, please visit www.nctennisfoundation.com.