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A city of Brea native, Connie Jaster-James played on the Fullerton College women’s tennis team from 1960 to 1962. While at FJC, Jaster-James was ranked 18th by the Southern California tennis players association in 1961, won the Junior Women’s Division in the Southern California Tennis Championships in 1962, won the Junior College Mixed Doubles Tournament going undefeated on the season with Stan Kula, was selected member of FJC’s “Women of Distinction” in 1962, and to top it all off was a Hornet cheerleader for two years. On top of that, Connie represented Fullerton Jr. College in the Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament in St. Louis, upsetting the fourth-seeded player Carol Southmayd of Duke University, 6-4, 6-3. She was also the Washington State Champion and the Orange County Junior Girls Singles Champ… all while at FJC.
After Fullerton, Connie studied and played tennis at Cal State University, Los Angeles where her teammate was a future tennis legend in the making, Billie Jean King. At CSULA, Connie became the National Jr. Wightman Cup Player of the Year in 1962.
In 1963, Connie tennis playing skills took her to new heights as she went on to play at Wimbledon playing in the Quarter-Finals in doubles play. Electing to keep her amateur status, Connie did not play as a pro. In 1964, Jaster-James was the first place winner at the National Collegiate Women’s Doubles Tournament at Greensboro, North Carolina. She was nationally ranked 6th in doubles and 19th in singles. By the end of her senior year, Connie was named in the 1966 edition of “Who’s Who” among colleges and universities.
In 1975 Connie advanced the cause for women’s tennis by beating Bobby Riggs in an exhibition match in Springfield, Illinois. Unwilling to play Connie in a singles match, Riggs instead chose to play doubles where Connie was the only female. She would later become the first woman in university history to become the head coach for the men’s tennis team at Drake University.
In 2010, Connie was honored at the inaugural Brea Distinguished Athletes ceremony. She still lives in Brea and teaches at Brea Junior High.