Tennis tourney to raise money for local youth players

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Henry Harris has been around the game of tennis for some time now, passing his knowledge to young players through the years.

Now, Harris is relying on the help of others, through the sport he loves, to allow that to continue.

This weekend, the Henry Harris Foundation will host its annual tournament to raise money to help kids get the proper equipment to play tennis.

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“Anytime you can help somebody it is a blessing for you and for them,” Harris said.

Harris’ tennis days date back to the 70s when he started playing.

“I started to learn how to play in 1971 and became a professional instructor in 1979,” he said.

It was through the many young children he instructed that he came up with the idea for the tournament.

“Four years ago, a group of the kids I helped came back and did a banquet,” Harris said. “They also decided to do a tournament to help the young kids coming up in the sport.”

This year’s tournament will feature a large number of teams, including teams from Dallas, Memphis and Jackson. There will also be teams from Natchez.

“We are going to have 200 plus this year,” Harris said. “That is building up to 2016 to having more people coming to play.”

Harris said there will be a wide variety of players as well.

“We’ve got from beginners to experienced players,” he said.

Play will start Friday at 5:30 p.m. and everyone will play a round. Things will resume Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and Harris hopes to finish around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, the final day, will begin at 8 a.m. and players will play until the tournament is complete.

All proceeds will go toward getting gear for children and Harris said he still has available spots for sponsors and players.

“We are looking for any sponsors that might want to help, they are still a great need,” he said. “We’ve also got some teams that we are trying to fill, two women’s teams and a mixed doubles team.”