“It’s been exciting hearing the conversations and listening and seeing how excited they are about something. They were just going home and doing nothing. Now, they’ve got a sport. A lifetime sport.”
Floyd Hamilton, a local tennis instructor holds classes twice for anyone willing to learn.
“For the past two and a half to three years, I started every Monday, a free program for anyone who wanted to learn how to play the fundamental part of tennis.”
What he considers a lifetime sport came to him back in the late 60’s, when he was a student at Peabody.
Two years after graduating, Floyd entered the Army in 1969 where he continued to compete.
“I wasn’t the best player at Peabody, but I guess I’m the only one from Peabody that’s done it professionally. I umpired professionally for 15 years and been out on the court with people that you only read about. When I was told and found out about, they told me to send home for my rackets. So, they made me play for the Army too.”
Floyd left the army in 1972, but the love for the game kept him hungry.
In his return to Cenla, he brought back more than himself.
“When I got out of the service in ’72, I said that I wanted to build an indoor facility. I was also the manager of the Super K-Mart. So, I wanted to build an indoor facility. When K-Mart closed, I said I wasn’t going any further, I had done 33 years with K-Mart so I decided to build an indoor facility. It took me two years to build it.”
And with that completion, came recognition.
Floyd was honored as having one of the most outstanding facilities in the country by the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA).
“It competed against a facility in Maine. They only chose two in the entire country and I got the award. It was an honor to get that.”
So nowadays when Floyd steps on that court, he brings more than fundamentals.
He brings experience, surely history and an abundance of wisdom.
“I’ve been doing this over two and a half years every Monday and I’ve had people as far as Dry Prong come to the classes so they hear about it. All you have to do it show up. So, it’s an opportunity for you to not go in your wallet. Just come on bring your heart out here and get after it.”