JIMMY PARKER, TIM, AND CHARLIE (30)

Another source of information was hosting semi-pro or “money
tournaments.” BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust) hosted a fine tournament
with people like Freddie McNair and other great college players of the
mid-70s. The most impressive, though, was an older Texan, Jimmy Parker.
What a nice guy and great player. Jimmy could stand on the service line
and return serve. He also ran a below 10-second 100 yards. Blink and he
was at the net. We also hired Tim Wilkison and Charlie Owens for our local
exhibitions. If you couldn’t learn from those guys, don’t take calculus.
I learned a shot from Tim’s brother, Andy, who played for North Carolina
State. Andy, troubled with a bad knee, was a fine player himself.
Watching him return serve caused me to define his return as “Z” shaped.
I never told Andy, but his quick move to the left and in, accompanied by
moving his weight in toward the target, became the model for our
doubles return.
Charlie Owens perfected a “just high enough” forehand lob down the
line to force the net player to hit a lukewarm backhand overhead to his
only logical cross-court target. Charlie would be there waiting for it with a
“passer.”

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