Roanoke City Council considers renaming tennis court after local tennis legend

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) The Roanoke City Council is considering a request to rename the tennis court at River's Edge Sports Complex.

Attorney John Fishwick asked the Roanoke City Council to change the name of the southwest Roanoke tennis court to honor local tennis great Carnis Poindexter.

Poindexter is known for his tennis skills as Roanoke City men's singles champion and former Patrick Henry High school coach.

Fishwick says Poindexter is a tennis trailblazer.

"He has had an amazing career. He won our city championship four times in the 1960's. He was the first African American to win at an integrated tennis tournament," he said.

"He was also the first African American to win a tennis tournament where there were both amateurs and professionals which is an amazing accomplishment considering Arthur Ashe was coming along at the same time."

Fishwick says besides being a great tennis player, Poindexter was also a great mentor to a lot of young men.

"Carnis was a great player and a great mentor. I think in these days and times it's important to acknowledge people who have had great success, overcome great barriers, who are from our community and that is who Carnis Poindexter is."

Fishwick asked the council to not only change the name of the tennis court but also hold a public dedication.

"The community would have the opportunity to the courts with Carnis to acknowledge his great contribution to our community and publicly dedicate the courts."

Council members expressed support for the idea at their council meeting Tuesday but noted they could not introduce a resolution the same day they are asked.

The council discussed drafting and bringing up the resolution for a discussion at a later date.