SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC4) — Utahn Rick Draney, a “Quad wheelchair tennis pioneer” will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame Wednesday at the Utah Tennis Annual Awards.

According to the International Paralympic Committee, Draney started playing wheelchair tennis in 1984, shortly after he broke his neck in an automobile accident and became an incomplete quadriplegic.

Draney will attend the Utah Tennis Annual Awards evening this Wednesday at the Ken Garff Scholarship room at the Rice Eccles Stadium to be honored for his achievement. He and Esther Vergeer, another Wheelchair Tennis star, will be inducted into the ITHF this July.

This is the first time two people were elected to be inducted from the Wheelchair Tennis category in the same year. It brings the number of Wheelchair International Tennis Hall of Fame inductees from five to seven.

“I am overwhelmed by the honor of being inducted, and I don’t know that I will ever be able to fully comprehend the significance. I am very thankful and grateful for the love, support, and guidance of so many that influenced me and contributed to the countless opportunities and experiences I had.  It has been so enjoyable to reminisce and reflect upon all the memories of the people, the places, the challenges, and the successes that impacted my career on and off the court. This is awesome!”

Rick Draney, Class of 2023 Inductee (ITHF Website)

The Quad category of tennis was officially added to the Paralympic games in 2004, and Draney contributed to that, the IHTF said.

“Draney was instrumental in the growth and professionalism of the Quad Division of wheelchair tennis.” ITHF’s website said.

According to IPC’s website, Draney attributed the addition of the Quad category to the Paralympic game in part due to clinics the quad division held at the Stoke Mandeville Games in the early 1990s.

During his career, Draney captured 12 singles and six doubles titles at the Super Series level, the ITHF website stated. Draney’s Super Series singles titles included five British Open titles, and seven titles at the US Open.

According to the ITHF, Draney also spent a total of 289 weeks in the singles top 10 of the Quad Division computerized rankings, including 118 weeks at No. 1, and an additional 302 weeks in the doubles top 10 (102 weeks at No. 1).

To attend Draney’s celebration in Utah on Wednesday, click on this link. To visit the induction in Rhode Island, you can visit the IHTF website.