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2022 Hall of Fame Inductee - Buddy Bowman

Arkansas Hall of Fame 2022 Inductee

Buddy Bowman



A native Arkansan, Buddy was the Director of Tennis for Burns Park Tennis Center from January 1, 1990, to July 1, 2002, under Parks and Rec Director, T. Richard Smith and Mayor Patrick Hayes. Starting from scratch in January of 1990 with no staff, programs were built to high levels of participation for juniors and adults around Arkansas from beginner to advanced. In the spring of 1995, Buddy devised the first adult team tournament by pairing like gender and levels to compete in a team format.  The concept was highly successful, and from that point on, adult team tennis competition was born at Burns Park Tennis. 

While Director for Burns Park Tennis Center, Buddy worked closely with staff at the NLR Housing Authority to teach tennis to kids with no equipment or previous tennis experience. As Director, Buddy continued the tradition started by Larry Walton, hosting professional USTA play but focusing specifically on women's events for three consecutive years and having players from over 15 foreign countries. Junior Team Tennis was also born in the decade of the 1990s, and Buddy guided numerous boys and girls through the exciting early stages of the competition.

Buddy rose through the Arkansas Tennis Association junior ranks beginning play locally at age nine. He and partner John Bailey won the Southern Jr Doubles crown for the 14 & 16 age divisions. Buddy's highest singles rankings were #14 nationally in Boys 18 and #2 in Men's US 21 Singles. A classic serve and volleyer, Buddy predominantly played #1 Singles for The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville from 1975 - 1979. He was the only Razorback chosen to compete in the year-end NCAA "Big Dance" for collegiate play three of those four years. The highest intercollegiate team ranking was #2 and Buddy was ranked individually top 10 at the #1 position for these same years.




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