USATT Hall of Fame Board of Directors Announces 2019 Inductees and Mark Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
April 12, 2019 (Portland, OR) - The U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Fame Board of Directors is pleased to announce the names of those outstanding players and contributors to be honored with induction at this year's annual banquet.
Athlete: Michael Ralston, Contributors: Zhenshi Li and Sharon Brooks. This year's Mark Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Richard Hicks.
The U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Fame Annual Induction Banquet 2019 will be held Thursday evening, July 4th during this year's U.S. National Championships at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas. Tickets are available through US Table Tennis Hall of Fame for $60/person. Please contact Sean O’Neill at email@example.com for tickets.
Michael Ralston – Athlete
- National Singles Rankings: #3 in 1957 and #2 in 1961
- US Open Men’s Singles Finalist – 1961
- US Open Men’s Doubles Finalist – 1958 & 1959
- US Open Junior Singles Finalist – 1961
- US Open Boy’s Finalist – 1955
- US Open Men’s Singles Semi-Finalist - 1956 (15 year old) and 1957 (16 year old)
- US Open Men’s Singles Quarter-finalist – 1959, 1960, 1966
Zhenshi Li – Contributor (Coach)
- U.S. Men's National Team Coach – 1991-1996
- U.S. Pan American Coach – 1991 & 1995
- U.S. World Team Cup Coach – 1995 - Bronze Medal
- U.S. Men's Olympic Team Coach – 1992 & 1996
- Coach of the 1995 U.S. Men’s World Team Cup - Bronze Medalist
- Coach at World Champions Table Tennis Academy
- Men's Doubles World Champion - 1977 & 1981
- Men's Team World Champion – 1975 & 1977
- World Cup - Men's Singles Silver Medalist - 1980
- 10x Chinese National Champion - Single, Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Teams
Sharon Brooks – Para Contributor
- 1973 – Began as a volunteer for regional and national wheelchair games in all sport venues of the NWAA
- 1975 – Founding member of a multi-sport program for the disable, the Delaware Valley Wheelchair Athletic Association, sports team – the Delaware Valley Spokesman, which did include a table tennis team.I was responsible to “coach” that team.
- 1979 – Assisted in the organization of the NJ Wheelchair Athletic Association, including its nationally recognized wheelchair table tennis program supporting Paralympic national and international players and coaches
- 1982 – Selected by the then National Wheelchair Athletic Association to be the team leader of the USA Table Tennis Team at the Pan American Wheelchair Games
- 1982 – Team leader, USA Wheelchair Table Tennis team, World Championships, Stoke Mandeville, England
- 1985 – 2002 – Appointed by the USTTA to present the concerns of the players with disabilities and was appointed Chairperson of the Disabled Players committee
- 1985 – Selected by the American Wheelchair Table Tennis Association (AWTTA) to be the designated USA classifier in the new functional classification system
- 1987 – 1988 – Coordinated the participation of the USA Table Tennis team of 24 wheelchair players at the World Wheelchair Table Tennis Championships in Brisbane, Australia.
- 1988 – Ran the first international wheelchair table tennis tournament held in the USA at Montclair State College in New Jersey.
- 1990 – Appointed a USA Team Leader for the US Disabled Sports Team, the first fully integrated disability sports team from the USA, with one of sports under her supervision being the Table Tennis team.
- 1990 – Assen Hollandfirst training for Functional Classification for table tennis was held, and Sharon attended under the sponsorship of the American Wheelchair Table Tennis Association (AWTTA).
- 1992 – Ran the first integrated team trials for all disabilities in advance of the Barcelona Paralympics. in Philadelphia, during which the USA team was selected to the Barcelona Paralympics. Also, the USA held its first International Classification training seminar at this event bringing in the then chair of functional classification from Holland to do so.
- 1992 – The International Table Tennis Committee for the Disabled (later to become the ITTF Para Table Tennis Committee), identified as one of 10 internationally qualified classifiers, with only 4 not being from Europe, only one being from the Americas. In that capacity, she was selected to be one of 6 international classifiers for table tennis at the 1992 European Championships for the Disabled in Salao, Spain and later the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics.
- 1992 – As Chair of Disabled Players Committee of USATT, responsible for the US Open, which had historically run an Open Wheelchair event for many years, expanded to conduct a full Paralympic style classed, open, and team events tournament at its annual event.
- International Classifier at the 1994 Pan American Table Tennis Tournament in Buenos Aires, the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, at the 1999 Para Pan Am games in Mexico City, again in 2003 at the Para Pan Am games in Mar del Plata, Argentina, the 2007 Para Pan Am Games in Buenos Aires, and the 2011 Para Pan Am games in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the 2015 Toronto Para Pan Am Games.
- Sharon served on the Wheelchair Sports USA Junior National Committee and was the Table Tennis representative on that committee from its inception until 2002.
- She was inducted into the Wheelchair Sports Hall of Fame largely for her pioneering efforts that lead to the creation of the Junior Division of that body in 1991.
Richard Hicks – Mark Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2018 World Veteran Championships, Las Vegas - Gold Medalist
- Over 70 National Titles
- Over 30 State Titles