November 5-13, 2022

Wesley Gabrielsen

McMinnville, Oregon

Paddle: Selkirk

Tennis has often been the conduit of play for many elite pickleball players and such is the case with Wes Gabrielsen. Growing up in Salem, Oregon, Gabrielsen was a standout player as a member of the men’s varsity tennis team at Linfield College, a Division III program located in McMinnville, Oregon where he now resides. Unlike other pickleballers, Gabrielsen started playing the sport in high school and it was also offered in his physical education classes in college. “I loved the fast-paced nature of the game and how social it was.  It was a great cross trainer for tennis at the time.”

Currently, Wesley is on a year sabbatical from being a high social studies teacher, and teaching and playing pickleball full time.

He attributes the rapid growth of pickleball to a number of factors. “Influx of athleticism in the sport – former pro tennis players getting into it along with increased input business-wise from major paddle companies. Increased TV and internet exposure have helped as well.” Prior to any pickleball tournament he always eats the same breakfast, along with same lunch and snacks.  He also always makes sure to rock a polo shirt for tournament day, especially the big/medal matches.  Wesley prides himself as being a creature of habit and routine and follows the adage, “prior planning prevents poor performance”!

Like so many of his competitors that feel the change in venue for the USAPA National Championships has only furthered elevate the stature of the sport. “Playing Nationals at Indian Wells has meant great exposure to the general public and the sports world in general.  The more exposure the sport gets, the more legitimacy our sport will receive. To compete at Indian Wells is so much fun and I can’t wait to play there again.” Neither can all of the tournament’s other participants.

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