Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

June 16, 2013

Ditty stands tall in state Hall of Fame

ASHLAND — Julie Ditty never felt as small as when standing beside Pervis Ellison, the 6-foot-9 former University of Louisville basketball great.

Three nights ago, both were part of the 2013 class of inductees into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

“He’s like a giant,” said Ditty, who posed with Ellison for a photo.

The KAHF added seven “giants” at the banquet, attended by more than 300 people at Louisville’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Legendary jockey Calvin Borel and former All-Pro cornerback Dwayne Woodruff of the Pittsburgh Steelers were two of the other inductees.   

“It was definitely a big honor,” said Ditty, one of Kentucky’s all-time tennis greats.

Overall, it’s the fourth Hall of Fame induction for the former Russell High School and Vanderbilt University star who played 10 years professionally.

Earlier this year, Ditty joined the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. She was already a Kentucky Tennis Association and Vanderbilt Hall of Famer.

“This one was special, being all athletes in the state and not just for tennis,” Ditty said. “It was great to be nominated and chosen.”

Ditty, 34, retired from pro tennis in 2011 after a stellar career with the racket.

She was a three-time state high school singles champion and earned All-Southeastern Conference and All-American honors at Vandy. On the professional level, Ditty won an unprecedented 38 USTA Pro Circuit titles and achieved career-best rankings of 65 in doubles and 89 in singles.

At one point, Ditty ranked fifth among U.S. women pro players. She made Grand Slam appearances in the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, Australian Open and French Open, as well as playing for the U.S. Fed Cup Team that defeated Argentina in 2009.

Ditty flew from Florida to attend her latest hall of fame induction. She’s helping former doubles partner Carly Gullickson for eight weeks at a summer camp in Palm Beach Gardens.

Ditty becomes Ashland’s first female and fourth overall member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. Others include Larry Conley, Ellis Johnson and Jim Host.

One of reasons she enjoyed the banquet so much was getting to meet and find out more about the other inductees: Ellison, Borel, Woodruff, Donna Bender Moir (Sacred Heart Academy coach), Bo McMillin (Centre quarterback) and Jerry Carroll (auto racing industry).

“It was nice to learn about the others,” Ditty said. “(Moir) said in her speech that she had followed my career.”

Julie’s parents, Jack and Juanita, obtained a Woodruff-autographed football through the silent auction because daughter Jenny’s husband is a Steelers fan. Later, the Dittys talked to Woodruff and his wife Joy in the hallway. The Woodruffs returned a short time afterward with two autographed pictures of Dwayne, who played at U of L and had 37 interceptions for the Steelers.

“His wife loves to play tennis,” Julie said. “They actually house players at a tournament in Pittsburgh, some of them girls I had played against.” 

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Junior Sixers win state opener

    After an Independence Day-like performance last weekend in the Cliff Webb Memorial Baseball Tournament, Ashland Post 76 Juniors’ outing in the opening round of the American Legion state tournament Friday afternoon with Oldham County wasn’t as stellar.
    But Post 76 traded punches with Oldham County before finally taking the lead for good in the fifth inning en route to a 9-3 win.

    July 11, 2014

  • Scott Scramble set for July 26

    The 24th annual Gordon Scott Memorial Golf Scramble benefitting the Hillcrest-Bruce Mission is scheduled for July 26 at River Bend Golf Club.

    July 11, 2014

  • lebo.jpeg Clevelanders celebrate LeBron James’ return

    LeBron James’ fans and former haters in Ohio have every reason to rejoice now that the four-time NBA MVP has decided to bring his considerable talents back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0712putnam5.jpg Putnam Stadium update Renovation continues on Putnam Stadium with Ashland's first home game looming on Aug. 22. The pressbox went up earlier this week and the bleachers are in place.

    July 11, 2014

  • Raceland football hosts 7-on-7 event

    Raceland-Worthington High School will be the site of a 7-on-7 passing tournament July 18-19.

    July 10, 2014

  • East Carter alum Robinson commits to NKU baseball

    After sitting out just two games over the past two seasons, Connor Robinson is perfectly fine with having to prove himself yet again to earn playing time.
    The former East Carter baseball star committed to Northern Kentucky University as a preferred walk-on this week.

    July 9, 2014

  • 122013_825a.jpg Vanderhoof steps down as Lady Rams coach

    Randy Vanderhoof says Raceland’s girls basketball program is ready to compete.
    And he believes that means he’s done what he set out to do.
    “Every program goes through a transition period, and somebody’s gotta try to help them through that time, and that was our job, to help lead the girls the last two years through that transition period,” Vanderhoof said Wednesday. “And we think now that they’re ready to go and they’re ready to win.
    “The last two years, we’ve been the youngest team in the tri-state, and those young kids, they’ve really developed, and it’s probably just time right now for somebody else to step in.”
    The veteran coach resigned Tuesday, concluding his second stint as the Lady Rams’ coach after two seasons.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • AARON SNYDER: Cooperstown next for surging Mudcats

    Over the past 10 years, the Kentucky Mudcats Travel Baseball Club has been a dominant force.

    July 9, 2014

  • Ashland National Junior 'amped up'

    With the state tournament a mere 10 days away, Ashland National's Junior League All-Stars are sitting on cloud nine.
    Manager Tom Lowe gave them a whole week to bask in their big achievement. Now, it's back to preparation time.

    July 8, 2014

  • Wildcats DE Dupree on Bednarik award watch list

    Kentucky senior defensive end Alvin "Bud" DuPree is on the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award given to the nation's best defensive player.

    July 8, 2014