JCC Open & Sports Hall of Fame

2019 JCC Open & Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Honoring Pam Lippy and James Friedman

When: Saturday, February 9, 2019 – 7:00pm – 10:00pm (Doors Open: 6:45pm)
Where: Scarborough East Tennis Club – 5641 Alshire Rd, Columbus, OH 43232 – Google Maps

Cocktails and heavy appetizers will be served between 7:00pm – 8:00pm when we will honor Pam by inducting her into the JCC Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Following the induction ceremony, enjoy an evening of tennis or pickleball play until 10:30pm.

Tennis play is mixed doubles and pickleball is open to any skill level and players will be placed according to ability. Both tennis and pickleball will be continuous play, so everyone will be on the courts at all times. Register early, limited playing spaces available.

Cost for the evening:
$75 per person for tennis or pickleball
$25 per person for social ticket
Both options include: cocktails, appetizers, and hall of fame induction ceremony

Honor Pam with a 10 – 15 second video tribute for $25. Please email video tributes by January 4th to Jeanna Brownlee

Honoring Pam Lippy

Pam Lippy also known as “Coach Pam” is a USPTA teaching tennis professional. Lippy was born Pam Caplin and raised in Beachwood, Ohio. She is the eldest of 4 siblings and credits sibling rivalry for her grit, persistence and determination. Athletic from a young age, Lippy did not take up tennis until her 16th birthday. During the late 70’s she developed into Beachwood High School’s all – time best tennis player. She also became a popular figure in the newspapers as she evolved into an overnight force, playing #1 singles with an undefeated winning streak. That streak ended with her debut at the state tournament. Her impressive collegiate record earned her a place on the courts of Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. Lippy continued her athletic achievements at Flagler College competing in both singles and doubles play. Pam compiled an astonishing record, winning accolades, being named All-American in 1984 and 1985 and putting Flagler College in the national spot light on and off the court when she was quoted in a Sports Illustrated article.

In 2009 Pam made her entrance onto the international scene. She qualified for the USA Maccabiah Team winning 2 gold medals in both singles and mixed doubles. Lippy has often represented the Midwest in national tournaments, and continues to share her tennis passion as a teaching pro and coach. Upon her move to Columbus, she launched the JCC Mighty Mite Tennis bringing her gift to 1000s of preschoolers since 1999.

She is married to David Lippy and mother of Courtney, Carly, Harrison and Adam plus she is a grandmother to Marleigh and Hayden.

Honoring James Friedman

Jim Friedman’s boyhood home in the Eastmoor suburb of Columbus, Ohio was bordered by two spacious fields, where some sort of game or athletic event was almost always going on. Baseballs regularly shattered windows of the Friedmans’ family room that overlooked the seemingly never-ending games. Many of the houses in the post-World War II neighborhood, including Friedman’s, had basketball hoops affixed to their garages or erected on driveways, and the sound of bouncing basketballs echoed in the streets. He recalls the many children around his age there living in a whirl of games and sports – football, baseball, whiffle ball, Frisbee, high jumping, running, climbing, tetherball, rock wars and water balloon skirmishes – that came to an end only as daylight diminished and voices began to shout for the kids to come home for dinner.
Reading about the NCAA basketball champion Loyola (Illinois) Ramblers in 1963 as a young adolescent, Friedman learned that some of the players had practiced using a device they attached to basketball hoops that reduced the diameter of the basket. After practicing their shooting on a smaller-than-regulation hoop, the normal-sized basket during games seemed huge, and their shooting accuracy improved. After all, they won a national championship, and Friedman reasoned that if he used the same device on the basketball hoop on his driveway, his shooting would improve, too. It did, and his long-range shooting became his greatest strength as a basketball player. Friedman played in nearly all of the Columbus Jewish Center’s basketball leagues from childhood through adulthood, scoring as many as 31 points in a game.
But it was in tennis that Friedman most excelled. His father, Allen, had played at Buchtel High School in Akron and introduced his son to tennis at age 9. Friedman’s quickness, graceful movement, “soft” hands and feel for the game helped him progress quickly in building an all-court game and developing an aggressive and skillful net game. Friedman’s parents installed a tennis backboard on which he spent countless hours fine-tuning his strokes, movement, strategies and eye-hand coordination.

Friedman was fortunate to have refined his tennis game through many hours of high-level competition in Ohio tournaments, on the private courts of Columbus tennis enthusiasts, at the Wolfe Park tennis courts in Columbus and at the Winding Hollow Country Club in Columbus, where he won multiple singles and doubles championships and was tutored by accomplished teaching professionals and superb players “Red” Thomas and Dick Klitch. In junior tennis, Friedman played on the Columbus Junior Davis Cup team that traveled throughout Ohio to compete against top junior players. He was the Columbus City singles champion and qualified multiple times for the state Jaycee Tournament in singles and doubles. He was a varsity player for the Columbus Academy and, as a senior, captain of one of the best teams in the school’s history. At Academy, Friedman’s game was elevated by the uncommonly skillful coaching of Klitch and Dick Price.

In high school, Friedman qualified for the state Jaycee tournament at the University of Akron. The players were housed in a university dormitory; while Friedman was showering, a student from another Columbus suburb – who was nationally ranked and was the reigning Ohio high school doubles champion – as an apparent prank opened the shower room door, where Friedman was the only student present, and threw in a live, high-powered M-80 firecracker. While it fortunately caused him no harm, he was concerned it could have damaged or even eradicated any of a number of vulnerable appendages. Two years later, while playing varsity tennis for The Ohio State University, Friedman encountered the same player, who was by now the top player at the University of Kentucky. He had violated a team rule and, as punishment, the Kentucky coach took him out of his customary number-one singles position and forced him to play further down in the lineup – that is, to play not Ohio State’s top player but Jim Friedman. The UK player made no secret of his displeasure at the unworthy opponent he remembered from his high school prank and approached the match with condescension and disrespect toward Friedman – who defeated him easily, solidifying Friedman’s varsity status at Ohio State.
Later that season, competing in Columbus for the Buckeyes, Friedman played Ramon “Cholo” Almonte of the University of Michigan. As an 11-year-old, Almonte had been cited as a tennis prodigy in a Sports Illustrated article about Puerto Rico’s great success in developing a number of superb players. After finishing his singles match against Almonte, Friedman was scheduled to play him in doubles with their respective team mates. Rather, Almonte jumped the fence and wandered off with two Ohio State female students who had been watching the match and never returned.

Starting as a child and into adulthood, Friedman attended nearly every Ohio State home football game for some 20 years; while being swept up in the pageantry and excitement at Ohio Stadium Friedman first dreamed of being a varsity athlete at Ohio State and fantasized about wearing a Varsity O jacket, signifying the rare achievement of being a Buckeye varsity athlete. He never thought his dream would come true but he is grateful to have been able to represent Ohio State in Division 1 intercollegiate athletics competing against some of the best tennis players in America.

Allen Friedman’s sudden death at age 47 from a heart attack while playing tennis at Winding Hollow was traumatic for his son and, for a time, derailed his passion for the game. Eventually, though, he regained his fervor and has said he played his best tennis in his 30s and 40s, often defeating current collegiate players. During that period, he also discovered squash and loved that the game demanded quickness, anticipation, power and finesse.
Friedman loved teaching tennis, on private courts and at the once popular, and now defunct, Columbus Indoor Tennis Club on Joyce Avenue in Columbus. He has remarked that the insight into teaching that he learned from tennis was central to his later success as an artist and in teaching photography at universities and colleges – realizing that achieving excellence in both athletics and art depends on enduring practice. For his photography, Friedman is the only Ohioan ever awarded the prestigious Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship (selected from 800 international applicants), has exhibited his photographs in more than 50 countries, was the recipient of the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio (honoring an individual artist whose work has made a significant impact on his discipline), has been awarded 10 fellowships and grants for excellence in photography from the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council and has achieved international recognition for his work. Friedman is particularly proud that Nobel Laureate, author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, described during his lifetime as the “the most important Jew in America” by the Los Angeles Times, wrote that “I saw Jim Friedman’s photographs (of Nazi concentration camps) and was deeply moved.”