“Lulu was passionate about the potential for children to learn important life lessons both in the classroom and on the tennis court or sports field.”

– Doug Kimmelman

A Gifted Athlete and Teacher

This monumental project is inspired by the passion and generosity of Carol “Lulu” Kimmelman, a California native who passed away in 2017. A lifelong tennis player and former public school elementary teacher, Lulu believed fervently in the power of tennis and other sports to transform the lives of young people from all backgrounds.

A native of Southern California, Lulu was a member of USC’s 1983 NCAA National Championship women’s tennis team and continued playing competitively throughout her life.

She went on to teach at Raymond Avenue Elementary in South L.A., where she was a beloved teacher who cared deeply about her students.

Lulu’s desire to help others led her to create numerous academic scholarships, volunteer her time, and serve on the USTA Foundation board of directors, where she received the Foundation’s inaugural Service Award.

Her dream was always to bring tennis to underserved children like those she taught at Raymond Avenue.

Lulu passed away in January 2017, at age 53, after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. Her husband and four children are continuing her mission to make sports and education more equitable by opening this premiere center.

In October 2021, Carol “Lulu” Kimmelman was inducted into her high school alma mater’s Hall of Fame. She graduated from Riverside Polytechnic High School in 1981 after an impressive tennis career. Her family accepted the award on her behalf.