As one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States and the world, the popularity of pickleball doesn’t need emphasis. A substantial contributing factor to the game’s undeniable vogue is that there are many celebrities who play pickleball.
Some promote it, some follow it, and the majority play it. The latter is what we cover in today’s article as we talk about the 10 celebrities who play pickleball. Yes, this racket sport is also appreciated by Hollywood stars and other people from various walks of life. Let’s check them.
1. George and Amal Clooney
One of Hollywood’s most famous power couples, George and Amal Clooney are die-hard pickleball enthusiasts. Not only do the superstar and his barrister wife enjoy playing pickleball, they actually have a court in their Los Angeles residence.
According to his interview with Parade, Clooney admitted that his spouse is the better pickleball player. He said that she “just beats the hell out of” him, winning about 4 out of every 6 games they play against each other.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio
Is there anyone who doesn’t know this man? He is also a big fan of this fastest-growing sport.
The star actor/producer/environmentalist is among the most renowned names in the Hollywood film industry. From his iconic roles in Titanic and Wolf on Wall Street to his legendary performances in The Revenant and Inception, you just can’t escape the man’s brilliance.
The Oscar winner, who could’ve easily fit next to Rose on that door, also happens to be a huge pickleball enthusiast. He’s an avid player who picks up the paddle every day, according to Vanity Fair magazine.
3. Doug Elin
Heard of Entourage? You probably did, and if you haven’t been living under a rock between 2004 and 2011, there’s no chance you didn’t.
The creator of the TV sitcom that took the country by storm, Doug Elin, is also obsessed with pickleball. He reportedly chooses his vacation locations depending on whether or not there’s a pickleball court nearby.
Not only can Elin write amazing scripts, but his pickleball game is on fire as you can see in this video. He admitted in interviews that he wants everyone in the world to play pickleball and that he wishes he had gotten into it sooner than he did.
Phil Mickelson, the American golf Hall of Famer, is the one who introduced Elin to the sport.
4. Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry, known globally for his performance as Chandler Bing in the legendary sitcom Friends, is a hardcore pickleball player and fan.
The actor is absolutely in love with the sport. He hits the pickleball court every day, according to Matt Manasse; one of the best players in the game and the person who coaches Mathew Perry, Larry David, and other celebrities.
In a recent interview with Parade, Perry confirmed this and even used his signature sense of humor to joke about how he wishes the sport had a different name. In the same interview, Manasse commented on Perry’s impressive progress and how he’s using pickleball to get fit.
Of course, thanks to the actor’s full-blown tennis background, the transition was a rather easy mission.
5. Chase Utley
Chase Cameron Utley, the American former professional baseball player, is a pickleball lover. Whether you call him “Silver Fox” or “The Man”, you and the Philadelphia Phillies second baseman have pickleball in common.
He told Parade that he got into the sport after retiring and is currently hitting the court at least once a week. He loves that pickleball gives him all he needs as an athlete, from strategy to hand-eye coordination to competition.
Cha also appreciates that the sport doesn’t discriminate based on skill or age — just about anyone can play it.
Utley often plays with his wife (he describes her game as “killer”), kids, and friends. He encourages everyone to have a go with pickleball.
6. Bill and Melinda Gates
One of the richest and most innovative people on the planet, Bill Gates is yet another celebrity pickleball fan. The co-founder of Microsoft and dedicated philanthropist sparked his love for the sport long before it became a hot trend. Bill played tennis for a long time.
This post on Gates’ Instagram page shows how proud he is of his 50-year-old relationship with pickleball and how big fan he is. He says it’s now all the rage although it was a “little-known sport with a funny name”.
In fact, his wife Melinda Gates talked about how the couple is a huge fan of pickleball. She even recalls: “one of the things Bill was so excited to teach me when we were first dating was pickleball”.
To this day, they still play together to have fun and unwind.
7. Michael Phelps and Larry Fitzgerald
Michael Phelps and Larry Fitzgerald love playing pickleball. Moreover, Michael Phelps, devote a part of their leisure time playing pickleball and promoting pickleball globally.
The vastly decorated Olympian and the Former NFL competed together in the 2022 Professional Pickleball Association (PPA)season-opener.
8. Al Roker
Al Rocker, or Albert Lincoln Roker Jr., is known in every house in the United States. NBC’s Today’s weather anchor loves to play pickleball, saying that it pairs perfectly with his physical activity needs as an older person.
9. Bill and Giuliana Rancic
Giuliana DePandi, E! News anchor, and Bill Rancic, the first-ever winner of “The Apprentice”, have been a married couple since 2007.
They’ve been pickleball fans since they were introduced to the game several years back and even played competitively in tournaments, managing to win some of them.
The Rancics love how they can make it into a family activity.
10. The Kardashians
Last but not least, the Kardashians are part of the pickleball fanbase. On their popular reality shows, a 2019 episode included footage of sisters Kim Kardashian and Khloe facing off in a “not-so-friendly” match.
Some Other Celebrities Playing pickleball
Other big names in the entertainment and sports industry who hit pickleball courts include Ellen DeGeneres, Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, Jenna Bush Hager, Jillian Michaels, Amanda Peet, Stephen Colbert, and Gary Vaynerchuk.
In this video, Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of the former US President George W. Bush describes how the whole Bush family and their close friends participate in a pickleball tournament. Amanda Peet revealed at one time that she had developed pickleball elbow (like tennis elbow) due to excessive play.
Further, Gary Vaynerchuk recently purchased a Major League Pickleball team. Moreover he aims to have a significant effect on the sport in the coming years. You would assume that former American tennis stars would shun such a “inferior” sport, yet the opposite is true! Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi like competing against one other and even other celebrity athletes.
Given the similarities between tennis and pickleball, it is no surprise that former tennis players appreciate pickleball.
There you have it, the top 10 celebrities and some of the biggest names playing pickleball, but these aren’t the only celebrity with a passion for pickleball, as you can see the list. These famous personalities who like playing pickleball demonstrate the game’s quick growth and popularity. With professional matches appearing on big networks like CBS Studios and the presence of celebrities, the game will continue to expand dramatically.