Pickleball has been deemed to be one of the quickest-growing sports in the world and it has been helped no end by the fact multiple celebrities have begun to endorse it. Below is a list of some of the biggest names from various walks of life who love and have adopted pickleball.
Picking up the pickleball rules is easy, or at least easier than most sports including tennis, table tennis and badminton, the three sports it has been attributed to, and that is one of the reasons why it’s becoming more and more popular.
With health being such a huge focus for a lot of these celebrities, it should come as no surprise that when a sport like pickleball offers health benefits like pickleball does, there is an automatic fit.
Much like the handicap in golf, there is a push towards making DUPR a global pickleball ranking system and that could also afford these celebrities a chance at bragging rights about where they stand with respect to each other in this sport.
While pickleball isn’t yet an Olympics sport, the kind of celebrity movement that’s on offer, it seems to be a matter of time before it’s taken to the masses and takes the world of sport by storm.
The fact it’s getting more and more followed even by those who have millions following them should go a long way in helping promote the sport of pickleball. Should help ignite the fire.
For now though, pickleball could use all the help it can get and nothing like having the endorsement of some of the biggest celebrities around. And that’s what’s been happening for the past few years.
Below is the ever-burgeoning list of celebrities who love being in the kitchen – or may be out of it! – on a pickleball court.
Celebrities Who Play & Follow Pickleball
So who are some of the most well-known faces in the world who have taken to the pickleball revolution? Here’s an (ever-growing) list of celebrity pickleball fans who have taken to the sport like duck to water.
One of the biggest names in the world of American films, Leonardo diCaprio is also a big fan of this great sport of pickleball.
Winner of some of the most prestigious awards in Hollywood, this Titanic-starring actor is one of the celebrities to found their calling in pickleball. And according to Vanity Fair magazine, diCaprio loves it so much, he has been playing pickleball on a daily basis.
One of the most well-known families in the history of American entertainment industry, the Kardashians – at least some of them – are big fans of pickleball. So much so they recorded a video of the sisters playing pickleball on the episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians.
Kim Kardashian, who has had her issues with Khloe’s boyfriend Tristan Thompson, even used pickleball to break the ice between the two.
Host of The Colbert Report and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Stephen Colbert is one of the more well-known faces on American television and he has joined hands with Funny Or Die & CBS Studios to produce a show called Pickled.
Pickled was produced for CBS to be streamed on Paramount+ in 2022, with celebs featuring in the two-hour special but more vitally, it is an indicator how pickleball is becoming more mainstream than it ever was.
An American show host, along with being a comedian, actor, writer and producer, Ellen DeGeneres has acted in multiple movies but is now more famous for her The Ellen DeGeneres Show. And unsurprisingly, she is a huge pickleball buff as well.
Or may be not!
Because during the height of the pandemic, DeGeneres attempted to play pickleball and ended up doing her lower back and announced on her show she had been unable to walk.
In fact, DeGeneres showed the audiences how to play pickleball by setting up a temporary net on one of her sets, as a part of her attempt to raise funds for the mountain gorillas.
Matthew Perry & Amanda Peet
Matthew Perry became famous for his role as Chandler in FRIENDS while Amanda Peet is a famous Hollywood actress who’s worked in The Whole Nine Yards and a host of other top-notch films.
The two are good buddies, having shared screen space, and it was Peet whose foray into playing pickleball that attracted Perry to the game as well.
In fact at one point Peet played so much of pickleball that she suffered from tennis elbow (or pickleball elbow if you may!) doing that, while Perry, who has himself played tennis with some distinction in his younger days in Canada, picked up the game from her according to New York Times.
“I don’t move around as well as I used to, but I saw my friend Amanda Peet talking about pickleball on a talk show and I was like, ‘I have to try this.’”
Jenna Bush Hager
One of the twins and the daughter of former US President George W Bush, Jenna Bush Hager is a co-host of the Today with Hoda and Jenna show.
And Jenna has been involved with pickleball in her own way, having announced on her show her family had hosted a pickleball tournament in which she had reached the semifinals.
Not to mention Jenna who, as a part of the Today show members, featured in a friendly pickleball tournament on Court 16 in New York according to USAPickleball.org.
Bill & Melinda Gates
Once touted the richest man on this planet, and even at the time of writing one of the top five in that list of richest people, Bill Gates is another one of those pickleball fans.
In fact, Gates took to pickleball long before it became mainstream in nature according to the following interview of Melinda Gates, his wife:
In the above interview, Melinda says:
“We are huge pickleball fans, in fact one of the things Bill was so excited to teach me when we were first dating was pickleball.”
They first started dating in the late 1980s by the looks of things, which means Bill got hooked on to pickleball long before that.
George & Amal Clooney
The Ocean’s Eleven (and Twelve and Thirteen) superstar George Clooney and his wife Amal have a pickleball court at their home in Los Angeles.
And when they are not busy with their professional engagements – Amal is a highly esteemed human rights lawyer – they are involved in one or the other sport including pickleball.
George has gone on record to admit he isn’t as good as his wife on the pickleball court, often losing to her in singles play.
Having become famous for creating the popular TV show Entourage, Doug Elin has become so addicted to pickleball he books his holiday spots based on whether or not the resort has a pickleball court available for use.
Elin has also admitted he regrets having “not found pickleball” earlier than he eventually did, and added, “I literally want every person in the world to play this game.” That’s a serious wow.
Incidentally it was American pro golfing legend Phil Mickelson, who at more than 50 years of age had become the oldest major championship champion, who introduced Elin to pickleball.
Andy Roddick & Andre Agassi
It might have been a one-off or probably a case of more to come but former American tennis stars, Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi have battled it out against each other in a pickleball match as a part of the Paddle Battle organized by Gary Vaynerchuk in 2018.
Powered by Latitude Margaritaville, it was hosted by Dreamland founder Steve Kuhn with the likes of Tyson McGuffin, Ben Johns, Irina Tereschenko, Corrine Carr, Ryan Sherry and Marcin Rozpedski being a part of the set-up.
Two years earlier, Roddick was also involved in a fundraiser for his Andy Roddick Foundation and he himself had played pickleball there.
Nick Kyrgios & Jack Sock
Known for his firebrand tennis and his maverick nature of play, Nick Kyrgios also recently promoted a few of pickleball-related tweets. One of those spoke of former tennis player Jack Sock having taken to pickleball – terming him as a “Future Pickleball Stud”
It was an indicator how tennis stars are becoming more and more receptive to the idea of taking to pickleball as their second-favorite sport.
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) December 21, 2022
Larry Fitzgerald & Michael Phelps
Two of the bigger names in the American sporting history, NFL wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and 28-time Olympics medal winner Michael Phelps have been involved in promoting pickleball as well.
The pair faced off in a celebrity pickleball match at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, with its centre court playing host to the encounter.
This was played as a part of the season-opener for the 2022 PPA calendar, with both Fitzgerald and Phelps partnering with other pickleball professionals in a series of matches.
Final Words on Celebrities Playing Pickleball
As can be seen from the list of celebrities who have found a solid hobby or passion in pickleball over the years, this sport is no fad. It seems to be here to stay and as more and more celebrities get hooked on to it, the popularity of pickleball is only going to rise with time.
If you know of any celebrity stories associated with pickleball, do write in to us to share it at firstname.lastname@example.org.