Induction Year: 2006
John Been, a native of Shawnee, Oklahoma, learned to play tennis at the age of twelve with a next door neighbor. As a junior player he was the Oklahoma high school singles champion twice, and won the Junior 18s Singles and Doubles championship the same year he won the Missouri Valley Men’s Open Singles championship.
While attending the University of Houston in 1953, he won the Missouri Valley conference singles title three times, the conference doubles title four times, and was a NCAA doubles semi-finalist in his senior year. As an adult player, Been and partner Richard Schuette, won a total of six national doubles championships, were the runners-up for six more, and for five years were ranked in the top 5 of the Men’s 45s Doubles, including 1972 when they reached the top ranking for the year in that category. Other victories include winning the Osuna Cup doubles event with Howard Startzman, winning the National Public Parks Championship with partner Ollie Gresham in both the Men’s Doubles 65s and Men’s Doubles 70s, wins over Sammy Giammalva and Whitney Reed and playing against two U.S. presidents and several celebrities.
A 2005 Inductee of the United States Tennis Association Missouri Valley Hall of Fame, his love of the game is legendary, as is his ability to bring others to the game and encourage them to play on a higher level.
Been with doubles partner Richard Schuette