This month it is our privilege to highlight local table tennis star, Howard Grossman.
Howard’s introduction to table tennis began at the age of 9 at his school. Inspired by his music teacher, whose unbeatable skills ignited his competitive spirit, Howard began taking table tennis lessons at his local YMCA. Despite facing initial setbacks, including a humbling defeat in his first tournament at the YMCA, Howard’s determination only intensified. He found a coach to help him hone his skill. Through his dedication to learn the art of table tennis, he emerged as the number one junior player in Ontario and earned a spot on Canada’s team for the 1963 World Championships in Czechoslovakia. Grossman returned from the World Championships with newfound inspiration for the sport. He continued practicing until he was the #1 player in Canada. When he turned 29, he joined his Father and Sister in Los Angeles, where they had been living, and quickly climbed the ranks of the California table tennis scene.
However, Howard’s greatest triumph came in 1991 at the U.S. Open, where he made history by clinching victories in both the Over 40 and Over 50 Doubles categories, a feat that had never been done in U.S. Table Tennis. His achievements culminated in his induction into the California Table Tennis Hall of Fame in 1998, a testament to his enduring legacy in the sport. Some additional accolades include achieving the U.S. Nationals Doubles Over 40 title in ’79, ’81 and ’82, which he then repeated in the 90’s, winning the Over 50 title in ’92, ’93, and ’94.
In 2006, he relocated to Lake Stevens, where he found a new calling at the Carl Gipson Senior Center. There, Howard revitalized the Table Tennis Club, serving as a coach and mentor to those a part of the club. His efforts have transformed the club into the thriving and growing community it is today. When asked what keeps his passion for the sport alive, Howard responded, “When I was young, I was coached. I want to give back what was given to me”. As Howard continues to inspire and empower table tennis enthusiasts, his legacy serves as a shining example of the transformative power of sport.
If you would like to join Howard and his fellow club members, visit the Carl Gipson Center on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM. For other information, visit https://www.voaww.org/gipson-center.