Trae Young is all smiles as he becomes the next athlete to invest in pickleball.
“Atlanta! Proud to announce I’m THE NEW CO-OWNER of the @AtlantaBouncers. Come help me #BackTheBouncers at the first @majorleaguepb tournament of the year on Sep 22-24,” Young wrote on Twitter.
Recently, the Atlanta Bouncers and Texas Ranchers kicked off the league’s first game of the season. Young was seated front and center in support of his team.
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Sport Has Growing Interest
The NBA point guard now joins a growing list of athletes who are investing their dollars in the “fastest growing sport” in America, per CNN. NBA players LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Kevin Love had already formed an MLP ownership group in 2022, as AFROTECH previously mentioned. Maverick Carter, James’ business partner, is also involved.
“To see the sport growing in communities all over is really exciting, and we’re looking forward to bringing our expertise together to try and build a championship team,” Carter told CNBC.
The Resurgence Of Pickleball
It is clear they’re not the only ones turning their attention toward the resurgence of the pickleball. The sport originated in 1965 and began to pick up traction between 2020 and 2022.
Per the Association of Pickleball Professionals, there were 36.5 million pickleball players in the United States as of January 2023.
Some of sports growth is also thanks to the efforts of Major League Pickleball Founder Steve Kuhn who already is staying true to the league’s commitment to double the number of teams from 12 to 24 and increase fan participation.
Additionally, he hopes to reach 40 million players by 2030.
“There are an estimated 5 million pickleball players in the U.S., and the expectation is 40 million by 2030,” MLP Strategic Advisor Brian Levine said, according to Axios.