Cammy MacGregor and Brian Staub play Scott Moore and Kris Anderson in the seniors mixed doubles gold medal match during the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championship at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Thursday Nov. 8, 2018.
Living in one of the country’s hotbeds for pickleball, Brian Staub has hit the courts regularly while a resident of The Villages in Florida since 2010. “I actually began playing pickleball two years before moving to The Villages when my family and I came down for vacation,” said Brian. “My kids and I would play with the local players all week long and I started playing when we became full time residents. I was drawn to the sport because it offered the same benefits of tennis – exercise and competitive play.”
Eventually, it also offered Brian the opportunity to showcase his talents on a national level capturing gold medals in 2016 at the US Open in Men’s Doubles 50+ and in Men’s Singles 55+ at the USAPA National Championships. In 2017, he won a bronze medal in Mixed Doubles 50+ at the USAPA Nationals and this year he took home a silver medal at the prestigious US Open in Men’s Singles 50+.
A graduate of Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, North Carolina in 1980, Brian has seen firsthand the explosive growth of the sport and feels the future of the sport has no limits. “Pickleball offers a perfect mix of competition, social opportunities and conditioning and also allows me to be an old man and still compete at a high level, not indicative of most sports, especially tennis. I have said it for years, the winner of the national singles title potentially has never played pickleball in the first quarter of that year. Additionally, higher rated (5.0+) tennis players are making the biggest impact on the sport in the younger age groups.”
With the move of the USAPA National Championships to world-renowned Indian Wells Tennis Garden, it joins a growing list of many instrumental factors that are driving pickleball fever across the United States. “The future of the sport will include increasing numbers of players of all ages. TV coverage will continue to improve with better viewing angles providing a better perspective for the audiences,” added Brian. “Tournaments will continue to offer more money and sponsor money will continue to grow as the sport grows. Regardless if the sport ever makes it to Olympic level attention, the sport will continue to expand until it’s the most popular sport to be played by the masses.”