As pickleball continues to skyrocket in popularity, we are increasingly seeing more celebrities adopting the sport. From A-listers to HOF athletes, and everyone in between, pickleball has cast its wide net over the country and not even celebrities can keep from getting hooked! We can’t name every “celeb” that’s ever picked up a paddle, but we’ll go through a list of famous stars that you might run into at the courts. Let's dive in.
Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary V)
The latest big name to hop on the pickleball wagon is entrepenur and best-selling author Gary V. Known for his enthusiastic pursuit of any business opportunity, Gary made waves when he purchased a Major League Pickleball team. “The 5’s” are set to compete in the upcoming MLP season and Gary is looking to “have an impact on the sport.”
Michael Phelps vs. Larry Fitzgerald
Perhaps the most intriguing celebrity matchup was the exhibition between 28X Olympic Medalist Michael Phelps and Future Hall of Fame NFL Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald at the PPA Carvana Desert Ridge Open in January 2022. It looked as though Michael was relatively new to the game, while Larry seemed a little more comfortable in his PB shoes. Regardless of their skill level, the stands were packed and excitement buzzed to share the same air space with some of the greatest to ever play their respective sports.
Current and former tennis players make up such a large percentage of our sport that it’s no surprise to see former professional tennis players embracing a new game. Nothing packs the stands fuller than someone like Hall of Famer Andre Agassi having a dink battle, or seeing if someone can lob one over John Isner’s head. We can’t wait to see if Andy Roddick can break the serve speed record in pickleball, or if Jack Sock can outlast anyone holding a 16” paddle. Whatever the reason, we “LOVE” (tennis pun intended) to watch tennis pros hop onto the pickleball court and give it a go.
TONIGHT ON E! pic.twitter.com/RFuEymx5WX— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) April 7, 2019
Pickleball got a lot of exposure in just a few minutes after appearing on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. This short clip showed Kim and her partner battling sister Khloe and her partner in what seemed like a light-hearted grudge match laced with all the fun. We aren’t sure if they’re challenge court regulars, but for pickleball to be featured on an episode means the sport is as trendy as ever. There were more than a few scorecard appeals, so we can’t put our finger on who won, but hopefully we see them out on the courts again in an official capacity and see which one of the Kardashian sisters wears the pickleball crown.
Our list of celebrities involved in the game of pickleball could go on and on and it’s only going to keep growing! We’ve seen a handful of celebrity pickleball events, but there are also celebrities that make it more of a weekly routine. Rumor has it that Leonardo Dicaprio, George Clooney, \and other stars have caught the bug and aren’t looking back. Who will be the next celebrity to pick up a pickleball paddle and join the craze? Only time will tell!