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Welcome to Racquet Sports

The J has a long and treasured history as the home of tennis and racquet sports for hundreds of Tucsonans. Offering instructional programs and events for all ages in Tucson and complete with a staff of experienced pros, our racquet sports program is the pinnacle of quality and the premier choice for players at every level. The recently constructed Sarver Tennis Center is outfitted with professional-grade Laykold Masters material (the official surface of the US Open and the Miami Open). This means that they are kind on joints and easy to move on. There are six full-size courts available for play, and our multi-sport court is used for pickleball and youth tennis games. 

Irene and Jack Sarver:

A legacy of caring and commitment

Anyone who lives in a community must contribute to the life of the community. - The Talmud

When Irene and Jack Sarver moved to Tucson from Flint, Michigan in 1960, they began building a strong legacy of dedication to community that endures to this day. The Sarver Tennis Center captures the spirit of that commitment. A philanthropist and businessman, Jack never had the chance to complete college. Although the University of Michigan offered him a tennis scholarship, he had to leave school after one year in order to work to support his mother, two sisters, and brother. But Jack’s love of the game endured. When he and Irene settled in a local residential development, the development’s communal tennis courts became a weekend gathering place for family and friends to come play and enjoy Sunday brunch. Irene and Jack upheld this tradition until Jack’s untimely death in 1980 at the age of fifty-eight.

Irene and Jack’s gatherings were about more than just tennis; they were about their passion for people and their desire to share their own joy with others. In everything they did together throughout their lives they were guided by the belief that if you live in a community and you take from the community, you must give back to that community. That you cannot truly flourish unless neighbor and stranger alike have the chance to flourish, too. In 1989 when Irene learned that we hoped the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s permanent home at 3800 East River Road would include a place where our ever-growing community could come to learn tennis and enjoy the game, she instantly stepped forward to make our vision a reality. Irene’s generous gift made it possible for us to build and install six tennis courts in Jack’s memory. And once again in 2000 when the J wanted to change to a softer surface from the original asphalt courts, Irene funded the initiative. 

Since the creation of The Sarver Tennis Center at the J, we have gained a reputation for being one of the most beloved tennis programs in Tucson. For thirty years, our courts have been a place where Tucsonans of all backgrounds and ages have connected through a shared love of the game. Because our tennis program has been so successful, the courts have experienced considerable wear and tear. In 2018, when the J realized that we would have to replace the courts if we were to continue providing the highest quality tennis experience to the Tucson community, Robert and Penny Sarver, Betty Anne Sarver, and their families stepped forward just as Irene had done before them to ensure that the I would have Laykold Masters Courts. These state-of-the-art surfaces allow for optimal gameplay for players of all ages and abilities, making the Center a place for even more Tucsonans to call home. We are thrilled to welcome you to the Sarver Tennis Center and grateful to the Sarver Family for their enduring dedication to tennis at the Tucson Jewish Community Center and to the entire community. We hope that you, too, will gather here with family and friends-old and new-to enjoy a great game, good food, and to celebrate the spirit of community that thrives here.


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