Note: This is one in a continuing series spotlighting community tennis leaders in Southern California who are continually promoting the game. This month’s spotlight is on Gardena’s LaRhonda Amos.
There’s nothing that makes LaRhonda Amos happier or more fulfilled than promoting her community and her favorite sport: tennis. For years, the Gardena resident has been a vital asset to all the communities she serves, bringing to light positive stories and news about what is going on in her area.
It is in part because of this that Ms. Amos was recently inducted into the West Coast African-American Tennis Hall of Fame, hosted by The Venus and Serena Williams Tennis Academy
“Unfortunately, because of kidney failure and related health issues, I don’t play tennis anymore but I still want to feel relevant in tennis,” Ms. Amos said. “It’s my niche to do communications and perform administrative duties for local tennis programs, especially junior tennis. I feel like it’s one of the ways I can contribute to the game; to communicate tennis events from my community. That’s what I’m all about.”
Ms. Amos began playing tennis 30 years ago when she met legendary coach Pete Brown and began playing tennis for him at Los Angeles Trade Tech. He then helped get her a tennis scholarship to Cal-State Los Angeles which led to her graduation soon after.
Ms. Amos, who calls Coach Brown affectionately “my uncle”, help start the Pete Brown Scholarship Fund in 2009. Sadly, Coach Brown passed away in 2010. The mission of the organization is to keep Coach Brown’s tennis legacy alive in our community. Organizational proceeds benefit junior tennis players with needs throughout Los Angeles.
In 1996, while on a tennis court speaking to friends, Ms. Amos had a massive stroke that left her in a coma for eight weeks. “I was in rehab and a wheelchair for more than a year and two years later the residual damage led to my kidneys failing,” she said. “It’s by the grace of Go that I’m still here and functioning today. I’ve learned to prioritize my life and things that I want to accomplish. Junior tennis development in my community is one of my top priorities.”
But through it all Ms. Amos strives to keep promoting the game of tennis. “I want people to know that we, the minority tennis communities of California, are accomplishing great things,” she said.
Ms. Amos’ started the newsletter Net Games News in 2004 (http://thenetgames.net
) and is the President and editor-in-chief. Her newsletter combines ongoing and newsworthy information on tennis happenings in her Los Angeles tennis community. She is also the West Coast contributor to Black Tennis Magazine and has written for the American Tennis Association, Pacific Coast Championships and SCTA websites.