Tom Brady joined former tennis player Kim Clijsters to become the latest celebrity athlete to get into the world of pickleball.
Brady, 45, headlines the ownership of an expansion team for the 2023 Major League Pickleball (MLP) season. He accompanies Clijsters, a six-time major tennis champion at the singles and doubles levels. Knighthead Capital Management LLC leads the ownership group.
MLP includes 12 teams and the season is set to conclude on Oct. 16. The league, which began play in 2021, plans to expand to 16 teams in 2023.
Brady and Clijsters are far from the only notable athletes involved with pickleball.
LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Kevin Love were announced in September as the owners of another future expansion team. Drew Brees joined the ownership group of the “Mad Drops” in June.
Pickleball is a paddle sport that mixes tennis and badminton. It’s played on a smaller court than regular tennis, and uses a perforated plastic ball.
The sport has experienced a meteoric recent rise in popularity. According to a 2022 report from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, pickleball is among the fastest growing sports in the United States.