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"Alex Rovello Memorial Tennis Courts" dedicated on July 27

Photo Credit: RITA A. LEONARD - Eastmorelands Berkeley Park tennis courts were christened the Alex Rovello Memorial Tennis Courts at a special celebration on July 27.On Sunday, July 27, Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Mike Abbate, Director of Portland Parks & Recreation, joined Jim and Geri Rovello at Berkeley Park, at S.E. 39th (Chavez Blvd.) and Bybee Boulevard, to formally dedicate the two newly renovated tennis courts there as the “Alex Rovello Memorial Courts”.

The public dedication that drew hundreds honored Oregon’s late tennis star and Cleveland High graduate Alex Rovello, who died last spring at the age of 21.

The two courts where Alex learned to play tennis at the age of 2 were both completely refurbished and updated by midsummer, paid for by family and friends, donations, and fund raisers. There is also a maintenance fund, and a fund to provide activities and events to promote interest in tennis.

The Rovellos had enjoyed spending much family time at the tennis courts, and followed Alex's continuing successes at the sport through his four years at Cleveland High School and on to his very promising college play at the University of Oregon.

The Phase Two highlights of the recently-completed project include a viewing area with benches, planters, memorial kiosk, and signage. Landscaping and tree trimming have been completed, as well as the installation of drains and an ADA-accessible entrance.

Additional features include the replacement of a concrete pad for a water fountain, and the placement of concrete pads and benches under the east-side trees, to make an additional viewing area. The green and yellow colors highlighting the new courts are the colors of both the U of O and Cleveland High.

The dedication ceremony featured music, games, balloons, tennis exhibitions, and activities for all ages. Friends and supporters of Alex and of the renovation gathered to watch and participate in various field games at the event, sharing memories and congratulating Jim and Geri for the generous gift they envisioned.

The project memorializes a nationally-ranked Junior Player in the US Tennis Association, Alex Rovello – who also made state history as the first men's high school tennis player to win four singles state titles.

Mike Abbate of Portland Parks commended the Rovellos on their vision, and their remarkably successful fund-raising project to benefit the public. Commissioner Fritz thanked them as well for “this wonderful gift to the community, whose intent is to carry on the Rovellos’ love of tennis and family fun”.