Nov 3, 2018

Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships to Feature Pro Athletes from Other Sports

Sarah Ansboury

Competitors play a game of pickleball one day before the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.

Momentum is a word used most often in sports and nowhere is that more evident than in the world of pickleball. The sport is clearly on the upswing in popularity and participation and its explosive growth is reflected not only the quality of players participating in the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships, but also in the cross-over of players from other sports, namely tennis and racquetball and, believe it or not, golf and gymnastics.

The following athletes have accomplished a great deal in their initial sport of choice and now they have ventured out on to the pickleball courts. They are just a few of some of the outstanding athletes who make up the roster of 2,200 players participating in USAPA’s premier event.

Sherri Steinhauer

An outstanding golfer on the LPGA Tour, Steinhauer captured eight titles, including two major championships – 1992 du Maurier Classic and the 2006 Women’s British Open. A member of the highly prestigious Solheim Cup for the United States in 1994, 1998, 2000 and 2007, she was also an assistant captain for the USA at the 2011 Solheim Cup. Steinhauer finished as high as seventh of the LPGA’s Money List twice, the first coming in 1994 where she won the Sprint Championship and finished in the Top Ten in seven other tournaments.

Daniel Summerhays

Daniel Summerhays of the popular golfing lineage includes Uncle Bruce who played on the Champions Tour, brother Boyd who currently plays on PGA Tour Canada and cousin of former LPGA Tour golfer Carrie Roberts, who is now the women’s golf coach at BYU. A first team All American as a junior at BYU, Daniel won the Utah State Amateur Championship in 2000 and 2001 while still in high school.

A current member of the PGA TOUR, Daniel’s best year was in 2016 when he finished tied for 8th at the US Open and a solo third at the PGA Championship after firing six birdies over the final ten holes in the final round at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey.  This year, his best finish was in sixth place at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Hank Haney

One of the most respected golf instructors today, Hank Haney is the former golf coach of Tiger Woods and two-time major championship winner Mark O’Meara. He currently owns and operates four teaching facilities in the Dallas area. Hank once lent his expertise and all of his patience in trying to help former NBA star Charles Barkley with his golf swing.

 Alice Tym

A world class tennis player in her day, Alice Tym was once ranked as high as 13th in the world in 1969 and during the decade of the 60’s played at the fabled All England Club, otherwise known as Wimbledon six times.

Tym attended the University of Florida where she organized the women’s tennis team, served as the Gators captain and played No. 1 singles from 1960 to 1964.

In what has to be considered one of the finest husband and wife accomplishments in the same tennis event, Alice and her husband Bill won five events at the 1964 Western Canada Open Grass Court Championships. They both won their respective women’s and men’s singles titles and doubles events, they then teamed up and won the mixed doubles event. Spectacular achievement.

A player on the international tennis circuit from 1964 -1970, Alice played in all four Grand Slam events and won tournaments throughout the world, most notably in Australia, Egypt, India, Ireland and Israel.

Marcin Rozpedski

Former Davis Cup tennis player – Poland (Listed on Featured Players page)

Roxanne Pierce

A world-class gymnast in the early 1970’s, Roxanne Pierce competed for the United States in numerous international competitions, including the 1970 World Championships and 1972 Olympic Games which featured a little-known Russian athlete named Olga Korbut. At the 1971 Pan American Games, Roxanne won four gold medals – uneven bars, vault, team event and all-around. She also captured bronze medals on the beam and floor exercise.

Pierce attended Temple University, winning a gold medal on the floor exercise at the 1976 AIAW Meet, adding a silver medal on beam, and a bronze in all-around. She moved to New Mexico in 1979 and began work with the Albuquerque Fire Department as a firefighter, paramedic and emergency medical technician.

Jimmy Lowe

Introduced to the sport of racquetball at the age of 15, Jimmy Lowe began playing in 1982 when he also began a career in the Army.  A seven-time Army racquetball champion and six-time Armed Forces champion, Lowe is the winner of 22 national singles age group titles from 1992-2013.  During a ten-year period from 2003 – 2013, Jimmy won 13 US Open age group singles titles. He’s also won 19 national doubles crowns and is a seven-time winner of USA Racquetball’s Bud Muehleisen Male Age Group Athlete of the Year award.

Kaitlyn Christian

Currently ranked #101 in the world in tennis doubles, Kaitlyn Christian attended USC where she was one of finest women’s doubles players in the country. She was ranked No. 1 in the country for part of all four years she played for the Trojans. In 2013, she played doubles with Sabrina Santamaria and the pair went on to win the NCAA Championship, the first doubles team from USC to do so.

Away from the pickleball court, Hollywood came calling as Kaitlyn was Emma Stone’s body double as Billie Jean King in the 2017 filmBattle of the Sexes. She also portrayed tennis player Kerry Melville in the movie.

Hillary Marold

Affectionately called “Queen of the Racquets,” Hillary Marold is a Hall of Fame member in paddle and platform tennis, and has arguably won more state and national titles in racquet sports, appeared more times on national media as a player and commentator than any other woman who has played competitive platform tennis.

Hillary Marold is a multiple USAPA National Champion in pickleball and holder of nine USTA gold tennis balls. She’s also been on the sidelines as a television sportscaster for NBC at Wimbledon in 1977 working with Bud Collins and John Newcombe. Hillary was the only female athlete to compete in CBS World Racquet Championships in 1977 and featured in Sports Illustrated.

Yvonne Hackenberg

1998 Platform Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee

Kim Jagd

Kim is a former UCLA national champion volleyball player and UCLA women’s coach for 20 years.  She is also a former Pro-Beach Volleyball circuit player. (Listed on Featured Players page)

Sarah Ansboury

On Thu, Nov. 1, 2018 Sarah will be named as the 2018 Arizona State Games Athlete of the Year.  This honor will be presented to here during the 2018 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  This year’s inductee’s include Pat Tillman, Gary Hall Jr. and Mark Grace. (Listed on Featured Players page)

Additionally, the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships is pleased to announce the following guests who will be part of the festivities at this year’s tournament.

Barney McCallum (scheduled to make an appearance on Saturday, November 10.)

One of the three original founders of the game of pickleball, Barney McCallum was the driving force behind the sport and its leading figure in the development of the game.  He determined where to buy wood for the paddles and how to properly cut them. He helped create the initial rules of the game and was the proponent in developing the NVZ (Non Volley Zone) line rules and the double bounce. He is also credited for creating a starter kit that helped launch the expansive growth of the game. Barney once said, “The greatest thing about pickleball is the balance between offense and defense.”

2018 Pickleball Hall of Fame Inductees

The Pickleball Hall of Fame will induct three new members at the Hall of Fame Dinner on Tuesday, November 6. The three inductees will then be introduced to the public during an induction ceremony on the Championship Court on Wednesday night, November 7.

Asian Delegation

To learn and observe from the event organizers, two representatives from Pickleball China and two members from the Hong Kong Pickleball Association are making a special trip to meet with members of USA Pickleball and many of the manufacturers in hopes of establishing an international pickleball tournament in SE Asia.

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