Zeitman to Be Inducted to National Racquetball Hall of Fame

Mike Zeitman is one of three members of the 2014 class to be inducted into the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame on May 23 in Fullerton, CA. The other inductees are Brian Hawkes of Lake Forest, CA, and Jimmy Lowe of Aiea, Hawaii.

Zeitman, originally from Louisville, started in the sport in his teenage years at the Jewish Community Center, where his mother, Sheba, worked. He described himself as a youngster as a latchkey kid who rode his bike to the Center every day after school.

It didn’t take long for him to become a top amateur and professional, taking after his father, Irving Zeitman, who, along with Ike Gumer, was a national doubles champion.

Ken Porco, long-time HPER (Health, Physical Education and Recreation) director at the JCC was his mentor. “Ken Porco was a fabulous human being,” Zeitman said. “He showed me what it was like to be a good sportsman, to do things right and to be honest and forthright. He also taught me about service, which is part of the reason I’m going into the Hall of Fame as a contributor and player.”

He and his brother, Larry, were also members of Resnick AZA as teens, and Zeitman also credits his advisor, Charles “Pinky” Weisberg, with having a major positive influence on his life. As Jewish high school students active in Resnick, “we did community service because that’s what we saw other Jewish people at the Center doing.”

A number of Resnick members still maintain contact and get together from time to time.

According to USA Racquetball, Zeitman’s most meaningful contributions to racquetball come from his tireless work and volunteerism. He was instrumental in saving and building the International Racquetball Association, the precursor to USA Racquetball, in its early years.

The organization describes him as among the first full-time promoters of the sport and who did everything from running tournaments, starting pro tours, publishing magazines, starting junior programs and consulting for racquetball companies. He is even credited with introducing the ceiling ball to the sport.

Zeitman is a true ambassador of racquetball and his many contributions have set the bar high for those involved with our sport today, USA Racquetball says.

Today, Zeitman lives in Houston; his brother, Larry, lives in San Jose, CA; and his brother, Steve is in Louisville.

Mike Zeitman is engaged to be married. He has two grown children, Morgan and Blake. Blake and his wife, Cariann, have a daughter, his granddaughter, Mercedes.


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