Pickleball piques the enthusiasm of more than die-hard athletes; famous celebrities are signing up in record numbers. It is one of the fastest-growing racket sports in America, with more than 15,000 courts to choose from and millions catching onto the fun.
Who could resist learning more about the sport with a name like Pickleball? We love how both pros and celebrities have embraced Pickleball.
Some famous pickleball players include celebrities like 7-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady.
Top 22 Famous Professional Pickleball Players
What started as a sport for the 65+ crowd quickly caught on with younger players and people of all ages who took it to the pro level with Major league Pickleball and pickleball tournament events.
Both men and women enjoy the rapidly growing sport of Pickleball. Some of the most famous professional players include:
Ben is the current reigning golden boy of pickleball. He is the most complete and feared player in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. He routinely triple crowns at all the top PPA events nationwide. The latest rankings put him at Number One in the world, and he achieved all this starting in his late teens, beginning the sport right after his junior year in high school.
He has a record of winning Gold medals at every major championship.
Jay is a top five ranked Pickleball player & known by some as the “Flying Frenchman”. He was a previous tennis player and played on the collegiate level for Wichita State University. He burst onto the pickleball scene in 2020 and started making noise on the PPA tour right away.
He won his first Mixed Doubles title in 2021.
Bringing energy, big personality and his own tattooed, mullet, mustache style to the court, Tyson started playing Pickleball at the age of 24. Before discovering his pickleball talent, he was an accomplished wrester and tennis player.
His first major win came at the 2017 USA Pickleball National Championships. Many now consider him a top player.
He and his brother Ben are the #1 ranked doubles team and they are dominant. Although Ben gets most of the credit, his brother works hard to be the perfect compliment to Ben’s style and as a result… they tear through draws and pick up gold medals left and right. In high school, Collin proved to be a natural athlete. After trying his hand at baseball and then tennis by the age of 16, he became a tennis professional by the age of 20 and played on the professional tennis tour for many years.
Lucy is one professional to watch as she is ranked in the top 3 in Mixed Doubles and Women’s Doubles. She started her Pickleball journey with tennis as a member of the Junior National team in her home country of Slovakia.
She was introduced to Pickleball in 2015 and has since racked up many titles including a triple crown at the 2018 USA Pickleball National Championships in which she won gold in Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles, & Mixed Doubles.
She is one of the few to be dominant before pickleball exploded after the pandemic and continues to be highly ranked despite an influx of new and talented players.
Parris started her love of racquet sports at the young age of 5 when she asked her parents for a tennis racket. Parris burst onto the Pickleball courts in late 2021 with her first pro tournament in January of 2022. She was the first to defeat Anna-Leigh Waters (ALW) after ALW had established herself as the top female player in singes, doubles and mixed doubles.
Parris can also be seen keeping up with the latest clothing trends with her clothing brand Waisted USA.
Anna began her Pickleball career in February of 2022 after playing tennis at UC Berkeley. (Go Bears!) She has made a name for herself as a composed and fierce competitor and quickly gained recognition as player to watch. Ben Johns dubbed her as “something special” when she first came on the scene and had some early success. She now routinely partners with ALW and they consistently win gold medals at the top events on the tour.
Andrea can defend both the Pickelball court and in the court room as an attorney. Her start in Pickelball started with watching a Youtube video her freind sent her. As a previous UCLA tennis champion, she quickly picked up the sport and is known a top ranked Pickelball player.
Due to her law career she is often not able to commit to partners that would like to play with her regularly. As a result of this, she often finds herself pairing with a player that lost their regular partner at the last minute due to injury. Andrea fills in the gap and despite the unlikely pairing, the ad hoc team they form is often able to make deep runs in top tournaments.
This remarkable feat that she seems to be able to perform with ease earns her deep respect among her fellow players
Callie started her pro pickleball career in 2020 and has become a star and top player on the court. She continues to rise to the top in Women’s Pro Doubles and Mixed Pro Doubles. She is widely known for her incredible fitness and consistency on court.
When she is not competing, she is a devoted mother and she also teaches others through instructional videos and her academy Paddle Up.
After Ben Johns and Collin Johns, Riley is considered to be the 3rd best men’s doubles player in the world. Arguably 2nd best as many think that Collin would fall out of the top 2 if he were not partnered with his stand out brother, Ben.
Riley is a tall player with a big wingspan and is very active on the court. He is one of the few men’s players that exclusively uses a two-handed backhand. He often plays doubles with his sister Lindsey Newman who is an excellent player in her own right.
Matt played #1 on the Division 1 Men’s tennis team at the University of Michigan. However, in 2016 he learned about Pickleball. In his first game with Lucy Kovalova, in a mixed doubles match at the US Open, he played as one of the oldest players at 40. He quickly became a feared and dominant doubles player and remains one after his early success. He still performs extremely well in both Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles despite being just a few years away from being eligible for Senior events.
Kyle was one of the first in the world to enter the pro league. He collects Gold Medals, earning six from the US Open and five from USAPA. In addition, he earned 15 other medals from USAPA Nationals. Kyle has been unable to sustain a level of play that is competitive enough to go deep in tournaments on the PPA tour. He is still a sought after player and makes an impact on the APP tour and in Major League Pickleball events.
Zane is 26 years old and came onto the professional pickleball scene with a fury. he left an accounting career at Deloitte to pursue pro pickleball and teaching full time. Since turning pro in 2020, Zane has won 27 matches in six events. Well known for his speed on the court, he rocketed up the rankings quickly. Zane often pioneers new shots such as the chainsaw serve. Unfortunately, those shots have become banned.
JW Johnson burst onto the scene with a win over Ben Johns. A feat that many had considered to be an impossible task. The young gun has not disappointed since and is a major threat in singles and doubles routinely finding himself on the medal stand. JW is regarded as arguably having the fastest hands on tour. His relaxed and quiet demeanor make him lovable and a fan favorite.
Jorga is the sister of JW Johnson. Even though she is still a teenager, she shows impressive skill at Pickleball and is a force on the pro tour despite her young age. She exhibits a fearlessness, like her brother, whom she routinely partners with in Mixed Doubles.
Lea turned pro in 2021, and the 29-year-old has already ranked Number 3 in the world and holds two PPA Titles. She is the top-ranked pickleball champion from the Pacific Northwest. She has formally retired from singles due to long term health complications. She will continue to compete in doubles and no double continue to be a force in those events.
Known as the “Queen of Pickleball,” Simone, at 42, is a former Number One in the world who held the position for many years. She turned professional after coaching Michigan State’s tennis team for seven years.
She will forever be regarded as a pickleball champion and holds more than 70 Gold Medals.
Lauren is is making waves on the PPA tour after graduating up from the APP tour She is known as a power player that has improved her consistency which makes her a more formidable threat.
She has won multiple APP Gold medals, and now continues to vie for medals on the PPA Tour.
Irina Tereschenko has actively coached or played racket sports for over 20 years. She is a Russian native who played college tennis at Texas Tech University.
She is a five-time major champion in the US Pickleball Open. She is currently the most decorated player in Major League Pickleball as she has been on 3 different teams that have won the title.
Catherine Parenteau is from Montreal, Canada, and is a well know player in the sport of pickleball. She holds a rankings of #2 in Women’s Singles and #3 in Women’s Doubles. Catherine’s journey to Pickleball started with a successful tennis career, ranking top 5 in Canada, and competing for NCAA Division 1 teams.
After being introduced to Pickleball by her former tennis coach, she fell in love with the sport and quickly excelled, winning championships and titles.
She is a fierce and admired athlete. She is constantly on the move, traveling around the country and internationally to compete and teach clinics.
Anna Leigh Waters (ALW)
Anna Leigh is currently the youngest professional pickleball player at 16 years old and is widely regarded as the best women’s professional player. There is no reason to think this will change anytime soon as she continues to win triple crowns everywhere she goes.
She started playing the sport with her grandpa in Florida for something to do. By the young age of 12, in 2018, the young player won several championships.
She may have started competing with grandpa but now plays doubles with her mom, Leigh Waters, and partners with Ben Johns in Mixed Doubles.
She studies virtually through IVLA, The International Virtual Learning Academy.
Top 10 Famous Celebrity Pickleball Players
Even some professional tennis players have jumped on to the pickleball court. Those with a tennis background who have, at times, switched up their tennis rackets for a pickleball paddle include Novak Djokovic and Andre Agassi.
To top off the Top 10 Famous Celebrity Pickleball Players, let’s start with two tennis players.
Andrew Agassi retired from professional tennis, reaching Number One in singles and earning an Olympic Gold medal. He has played in multiple pickleball exhibition matches including one where he shared the court with former tennis greats John McEnroe, Andy Roddick & Michael Chang
Novak Djokovic is a professional tennis player who, as of March 2021, holds the world Number One spot in the Association of Tennis Professionals ATP ranking and Number One at a record-high 311 weeks.
He is the only player who competed in the ATP Golden Masters. He has also earned the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year four times.
Outside the professional tennis realm, big name celebrity sightings are happening with increasing frequency. Some of the most well-known celebrity pickleballers include:
Bill and Melinda Gates
Known in the computer world and for their billionaire status, Bill and Melinda Gates have also been seen on the pickleball court enjoying batting around a ball. Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft, and the two formed a philanthropic organization named after them.
Bill played tennis in the past, but rumors say they own a Simon, one of the best pickleball machines available. He began playing pickleball when he was younger and his father even knew the inventors of the game.
Long-time comedian and talk-show host Ellen took to Pickleball. In an interview, she confessed she is totally “obsessed” with Pickleball even though her lower back hurts.
Jenna Bush Hager
Daughter to former President George W. Bush, Jenna has frequented a pickleball court or two. She has also made a name in her own right on NBC’s TODAY with Hoda & Jenna and The Today Show.
She admits that not only she plays Pickleball, but the entire Bush family enjoys a rousing tournament, including her twin sister, Barbara.
Michael Phelps is well-known for his many Olympic medals. He is the most decorated Olympian of all time. While he excels at swimming, he doesn’t shy away from picking up a pickleball paddle for a game on the courts. He played in an exhibition event alongside many of the pickleball greats mentioned above in the early days of the PPA tour.
This American actor-comedian is best known for his role on the show In Living Color and the Jamie Foxx Show. However, he views Pickleball as no laughing matter when it comes to having fun and working out. He is also dipping his toe into paddle manufacturing with his own line of pickleball paddles.
Competitors may want to think twice before trying to keep up with reality TV star Kim Kardashian at a game of Pickleball. That may be overstating things as we aren’t fully aware of her level of proficiency at the game. Although, her interest in the game hopefully goes beyond a television episode. lol!
Jillian Michaels, television personality and personal trainer, does more in her spare time than help The Biggest Loser contestants get fit. She admits to also enjoying Pickleball.
Best known as the long-time quarterback in the NFL, the seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady admittedly enjoys a rousing game of Pickleball when given a chance.
So much so that he and four-time tennis champion Kim Clijsters heavily invested in owning a Major League Pickleball expansion team.
Pickleball has a funny name that makes some chuckle because it’s so quirky. It’s all part of the charm.
The sport draws the interest of people from all walks of life, including celebrities, those wanting to have fun with a friendly game, families looking for activities to do together and those seriously competing.