Paddle Up Paducah Pickleball Tournament a showcase of the growing sport

PADUCAH, Ky. (KBSI) – Pickleball’s popularity has soared in recent years, and things are no different in Paducah. 

The Paddle Up Paducah Pickleball Tournament Saturday and Sunday drew over 100 players to Paducah Middle School. 

As a USA Pickleball District Ambassador for the state of Kentucky, Nancy Sutton takes pride in growing the game she loves. 

“I started in Florida, and I came home back to Paducah, and nobody was playing, so I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is such a fun sport, and it’s so easy to learn, I’ve got to share the love,” she said.

And she started sharing that love with her grandson, Maxx, pretty much from the time he was born. 

“The first thing I did, even in his little cradle, I would hang a little pickleball, like a little tiny practice golf ball, so that he could get the eye and hand coordination going,” she said.

Maxx has become quite the player. 

“I don’t push it on him. I want him to want to do a sport, but I have a feeling he’s going to end up being a pretty good pickleball player,” Sutton said.

Lone Oak, Ky. native Mickey Whitlock, 83, picked up pickleball about five years ago, and he has been hooked ever since. 

“I kind of got addicted to it, still love the game, and got a lot of real nice folks playing pickleball and just a great group to play with,” he said. “I’m enjoying it very much.” 

So whether you’re 5 years old or 83, just starting out or have been playing for years, there is a place for you in the sport of pickleball. 

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