Utah Jazz: Gordon Hayward Wins Of Love Tournament

Utah Jazz star Gordon Hayward returned to the tennis court this week and was the best player at his rating level.

Although Gordon Hayward is a world-class athlete, he has yet to win at the highest level in basketball. He famously came close to capturing a national championship during his college days at Butler, but was a rimmed-out potential buzzer beater away from sealing the win.

In his time with the Utah Jazz, the team hasn’t come close to approaching title contention; Hayward has only appeared in a handful of playoff games over the course of his six seasons as a pro (although better times lie ahead).

However, he did manage to win a championship over the weekend, taking the George S. Eccles Tennis Center at the University of Utah by storm. In the end, the Jazz star reigned supreme over the 4.5-rated men’s group at the Ardene Bullard Of Love Tennis Tournament.

After winning his semifinal match in straight sets (6-4, 6-1) on Thursday, Hayward advanced to Saturday’s final, where he faced his stiffest competition of the tournament.

In order to claim the tournament championship, Hayward had one man to beat. That man was himself–

Despite being forced to duel with his Doppelganger, Hayward prevailed 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) and captured the 4.5 division title.


Although he entered the tourney having only played tennis a handful of times since beginning his NBA career with the Jazz, Hayward was no stranger to competing at a high level as a tennis player. As a prep athlete in Indiana, he competed for state championships in the sport.

While he admitted to being a little rusty, he was definitely able to recapture some of his former glory with the racket. Better yet, he did so for a good cause–the Of Love tournament served to raise money for Type 1 diabetes research.

After winning the tournament on Saturday morning, Hayward went on to play in an exhibition with tennis pros Mark Philippoussis and Ryan Harrison and even captured the win in doubles competition.

For more information about the Of Love Tennis Tournament, click HERE.