PK

Yesterday afternoon was a great example of the strength of squash. First, I attended the memorial service for Darwin P. Kingsley, III.

PK was a legendary leader of the game in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Much of the talk during and after the service was about his integrity, humor and generosity. It was great to see so many family and friends of his, including his brother Charlie (wearing an extremely vintage US Squash necktie—Charlie said that to honor his brother he pulled out the oldest one he could find); Episcopal and Merion colleagues; two of his successors as executive director at US Squash (Craig Brand and Kevin Klipstein); and his longtime co-worker Anne Farrell.

I first got to know PK as a kid. His locker was a couple down from my locker at Merion, and I had short little conversations with him as we each shuttled to and fro, heading to and from the courts. He was always interested in my career and life and what I thought about what was going on in the game.

I last talked with him a few weeks before he died—I called to go over the 1979 merger of the men’s and women’s national associations. He was then, as always, avuncular and helpful.

After the service, I drove over to SquashSmarts’ 2019 BestShotBall gala at Philadelphia Cricket Club. There I saw the direct results of PK’s leadership and vision: hundreds of people playing, watching and supporting squash. Nearly a half million dollars was raised from an incredibly diverse group to sustain a vibrant urban squash program.

PK believed in the power of squash to transform lives. At the BestShotBall you could vividly see where that takes you.

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