Celebrities Who Play Pickleball (And Why It Matters)

Written by Adam (HV)

December 15, 2021

celebrities who play pickleball, ellen degeneres

Since the onset of COVID, pickleball has exploded onto the world stage, and the secret of pickleball has found its way into celebrity circles, late night talk shows, and interviews.


“WHO CARES?” is the response you’ll likely see from people in the comments section. Maybe you’re thinking that now. But there’s something else you should know: this kind of grass-root support from people who have millions of followers is amazing exposure for the sport.

More exposure means more people gaining interest, which means more fans and spectators, which means more CORPORATE SPONSORS, which means better payouts for everyone involved, which means more people get to make a living off of pickleball. Now your favorite pro pickleball player will be able to make a living from the sport. Maybe even YOU could make a living off of it.

These moments of exposure are the tide that rises, lifting all of our boats from a small pickleball lagoon with taped temporary courts out and into the beautiful pristine waters of permanent-courts and facilities.

The Beauty of Pickleball: No One Cares

There’s also a fundamental truth here: NO ONE cares who you are when you get on the pickleball court. That is the beauty of the sport. It combines people from all walks of life living life in the present with no twisted agenda. Rather, it’s all about having fun, competing, and getting better. On one side of the net you can have a millionaire and on the other you can have someone who lives month to month. None of that matters when you’re playing.

Simone Jardim said it best. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair the 41-year-old mother of two and savage destroyer of anyone challenging her position as the top-ranked women’s player, ascribed pickleball’s ability to bring different classes together to its humble roots in public venues. “On the same court, you can have a millionaire with someone living paycheck to paycheck,” she explains. “No one’s interested in what you do for a living, only in how long you’ve been playing.” There’s an egalitarianism to pickleball you don’t often find in other sports. I’ve had my ass kicked by men (and women) in their 60s, I’ve beaten friends with private jets and current college athletes, and I regularly swap pickleball-related texts with a former U.S. president, the Australian rocker Alex Cameron, and a buddy who jumps the NYC subway turnstiles to save cash. It’s not a group text, but still.

What do you think?

Do you hate it that celebrities are talking about pickleball? Or do you like it? Let me know in the comments.

p.s. Just Be Nice

Remember to be kind out there. We were all beginners at one point and we need to be especially welcoming to all beginners, no matter their status, amount of followers, or wealth. Happy pickleballin everyone!  

Celebrities Who Play Pickleball

Ellen Degeneres 

Brene Brown

Bill & Melinda Gates

The Kardashians Play Pickleball

Jillian Michaels (“The Biggest Loser”)

Gary Vaynerchuk (GaryVee) with Andre Agassi

Steve Nash & the Brooklyn Nets (NBA)

Kid Rock

 And Many More…

  • Julie Foudy (U.S. Soccer Player and ESPN Analyst)
  • Julian Edelman (3-time Super Bowl champ)
  • Fred Savage – (Wonder Years) 
  • Phillip Phillips (American Idol winner)
  • Ben Crane (Pro Golfer)
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Owen Wilson
  • Zach Braff
  • George Clooney
  • Nick Foles (NFL)
  • Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm & Seinfeld Co-creator)

Did I leave anyone off? Let me know in the comments.

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