Hawks’ Trae Young Investing In Pickleball Craze

In the world of professional sports, athletes are always seeking new ways to stay competitive and relevant. Atlanta Hawks’ point guard, Trae Young, is no exception. Known for his sharpshooting skills on the basketball court, Young has recently made headlines for an unexpected move – becoming a co-owner of the Atlanta Bouncers, a Major League Pickleball team in Georgia. This surprising foray into the world of pickleball underscores the sport’s skyrocketing popularity among athletes and notable figures. In this article, we’ll delve into Trae Young’s involvement in the pickleball craze and explore the sport’s rapid rise.

The Pickleball Phenomenon

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball, often described as the fastest-growing sport in America, traces its origins back to 1965. However, it wasn’t until 2021 and 2022 that the sport gained widespread recognition and popularity. This paddle sport, akin to tennis, can be played both indoors and outdoors and involves the use of a hollow wiffle ball. One of its distinctive features is that it’s a co-ed sport, making it accessible and appealing to a wide range of players. As of January 2023, the Association of Pickleball Professionals reports a staggering 36.5 million pickleball players in the United States, a testament to its meteoric rise.

Major League Pickleball: A Game-Changer

What is Major League Pickleball?

Major League Pickleball, founded by Steve Kuhn in 2021, has swiftly become a powerhouse in the world of sports. The league currently boasts 24 teams as of 2023, showcasing its rapid expansion. With six annual events and the potential for prize money to exceed 5 million dollars, Major League Pickleball is attracting attention from athletes and investors alike.

Athletes Turned Investors

Notable Figures in Major League Pickleball

  1. Drew Brees: The retired NFL star has transitioned into a part-owner of the Mad Drop Pickleball Club in Austin, Texas.
  2. LeBron James: The Los Angeles Lakers superstar, LeBron James, has not only embraced pickleball but also invested in Major League Pickleball after experiencing the sport firsthand.
  3. Tom Brady and Kim Clijsters: Seven-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady and tennis legend Kim Clijsters are among the high-profile investors in Major League Pickleball.
  4. Kevin Durant: The NBA player has thrown his weight behind Major League Pickleball through Thirty-Five Ventures, the company he co-owns with Rich Kleiman.
  5. Michael B. Jordan and Drake: In an unexpected pairing, actor Michael B. Jordan, known for his role in “Creed,” and rapper Drake have both invested in Brooklyn Aces, further solidifying the sport’s appeal.

Trae Young’s Pickleball Play

Trae Young’s decision to invest in the Atlanta Bouncers, the Major League Pickleball team based in Georgia, has raised eyebrows and curiosity. As a professional basketball player, Young’s involvement in a completely different sport may seem perplexing at first. However, it speaks volumes about the allure and potential of pickleball.

Young’s foray into pickleball isn’t just about diversifying his portfolio; it’s a testament to the sport’s rapid growth and its ability to attract high-profile individuals. By co-owning the Atlanta Bouncers, Young is not only supporting a burgeoning sport but also positioning himself as a pioneer in the world of professional athletes turned pickleball enthusiasts.


The trajectory of pickleball’s popularity is on an upward swing, and athletes like Trae Young are riding the wave. As Major League Pickleball continues to grow and draw in top-tier talent and investors, the sport’s future appears promising. Trae Young’s involvement in the Atlanta Bouncers is just one example of how pickleball has captured the attention of the sports world.

If you haven’t yet explored the world of pickleball, it might be time to pick up a paddle and experience this exciting sport for yourself. Who knows, you might just find yourself as passionate about pickleball as Trae Young and other notable athletes.


  1. What is the history of pickleball’s rise in popularity?
    Pickleball, though invented in 1965, gained significant recognition in 2021 and 2022, largely due to its accessibility and co-ed nature.
  2. How many pickleball players are there in the United States?
    As of January 2023, there are approximately 36.5 million pickleball players in the United States.
  3. Who founded Major League Pickleball, and how many teams are there?
    Major League Pickleball was founded by Steve Kuhn in 2021 and currently boasts 24 teams as of 2023.
  4. What notable athletes have invested in Major League Pickleball?
    High-profile athletes such as Drew Brees, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Kim Clijsters, Kevin Durant, Michael B. Jordan, and Drake have all invested in Major League Pickleball.
  5. Why did Trae Young invest in the Atlanta Bouncers?
    Trae Young’s investment in the Atlanta Bouncers reflects the growing allure of pickleball among athletes and its potential as a sport on the rise.


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