BIRMINGHAM, AL. - The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Nicholas J. "Nick" Bollettieri has been named the Distinguished American Sportsman for 2009.
Bollettierigraduated from Springhill College in Mobile in 1949, where he was a member of the tennis team. He is one of the most influential people in the world of tennis and a legend who has transcended the sport. In 1978, he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy (NBTA) in Florida. The NBTA was the first full-time sports academy in the world to combine intense training on the court with a custom-designed academic curriculum all in a boarding school environment. What was once a program of primarily on-court training has evolved into a multi-faceted approach which includes blending the technical and strategic on-court training with specialized performance physical training and mental conditioning. The Bollettieri Method not only builds athletes on the court, but much more importantly prepares individuals for a successful life off the court. It was this proven method that he used to coach ten number one players in the world and to help thousands of other students reach their full potential in both their professional and personal lives.
In 1987, he expanded his vision when he joined forces with IMG to turn the NBTA into a multi-sport training facility, now know as IMG Academy. Located on a 300+ acre campus in Bradenton, Florida, IMG Academy annually trains over 13,000 junior, collegiate, adult and professional athletes in numerous sports from over 80 countries. The Bollettieri name is recognized worldwide as both an innovator and a leader in the world of sports and fitness.
Mr. Bollettieri will be enshrined as the Distinguished American Sportsman at the 41st Annual Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies on Saturday, May 30 in the Birmingham Ballroom at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel. Previous Distinguished American Sportsmen include: Former President George H. Bush, Hugh Culverhouse, Charles O. Finley, Bob Hope, Roy Kramer, Larry D. Striplin Jr., and Jim Wilson.
Mr. Bollettieri joins the Class of 2009 sports greats which include: Larry Blakeney (football), Steve Bolt (track), Tommy Brooker (football), Janelle Kirtley Godfrey (water skiing), Charles Hannah (football), Jimmy Key (baseball), Lee May (baseball), and John Mitchell (football). Ronald G. Bruno will be honored as the Distinguished Alabama Sportsman.
For more information on the May 30 induction banquet call the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame at 877-323-6665.