1975 TENNIS INDUCTEE
The undisputed king of tennis in the San Joaquin Valley was J. Newton Bramblett from 1920 through 1927. The Fresno High School Class of 1917 graduate attended the University of California from 1923 to 1924, Stanford in 1925, and Fresno State from 1926 to 1927. In the early 1920s, he was dominant in singles play in both the city of Fresno as well as Fresno County. Bramblett also teamed with Bill Lauritzen to win the Valley and Fresno County and City Men’s Doubles championships. He also teamed with his sister, Mrs. Cora Buford, to win the City and County Mixed Doubles championships for several years running.
At Fresno High he was a hurdler, played third base for coach J.W. “Pop” Warner and participated in junior tennis tournaments. Displaying his athletic versatility, Bramblett won the Fresno City Junior Golf Championship while attending Fresno State. He was one of the stars of the Fresno Tennis Club six-man team in intra-club play with squads from Stockton, Berkeley, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Bramblett promoted a number of Fresno tennis projects including building concrete courts at the Fresno Fairgrounds for an appearance by tennis superstar Helen Wills, who drew the biggest tennis crowd of that time. He served as an official for exhibition matches of professionals Bill Tilden, Don Budge, Jack Kramer, and fellow Fresnan Walt Senior. Bramblett taught science and American government and coached tennis at Edison High School for thirty-four years.