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Discover Austin’s Pro Pickleball Team: The Texas Ranchers

Austin pickleball team Texas Ranchers

Did you know that Austin boasts its very own professional pickleball team? The Texas Ranchers are one of the 22 teams competing in Major League Pickleball (MLP), bringing excitement and competitive spirit to the sport.

The Mission and Vision of the Texas Ranchers

The Texas Ranchers have a clear and ambitious mission. According to CEO Evan Floersch, “Our mission is to become America’s pickleball team and the most valuable and highest-grossing franchise in the league.” This vision drives the team to excel both on and off the court, aiming to capture the hearts of pickleball fans nationwide.

Meet the Team

The Texas Ranchers’ roster is composed of four talented players selected through a draft process:

  • Christian Alshon: The team’s number one overall draft pick, known for his exceptional skills and strategic gameplay.
  • Etta Wright: The only Tongan player in the sport, bringing diversity and unique talent to the team.
  • Tina Pisnik: An ex-Olympian tennis player who has transitioned her skills to pickleball, adding a wealth of experience.
  • Pablo Tellez: A dynamic player known for his agility and competitive edge.

Competing in the Premier Division

The Ranchers compete in the premier division of Major League Pickleball, which includes 12 of the best teams in the league. One of their fiercest rivals is the Dallas Flash, owned by Mark Cuban. “We’ve got a Texas rivalry budding right now,” said Floersch, highlighting the competitive spirit between the two teams.

Growing Popularity of Pickleball in Central Texas

As the popularity of pickleball continues to grow, Central Texas is adding more venues to accommodate the increasing number of enthusiasts. The sport’s rapid growth is evident in the number of new courts and facilities being developed in the area.

Celebrity Support and Ownership

The Texas Ranchers are backed by a diverse group of more than 30 owners, including several celebrities. Notable names include:

  • Kendra Scott: Renowned jewelry designer and entrepreneur.
  • Bobby Bones: Popular radio personality and television host.
  • Lil Wayne: Iconic rapper and music producer.
  • Bijan Robinson: Prominent athlete and community figure.

This star-studded ownership group brings additional visibility and support to the team.

Watching the Ranchers in Action

While the team won’t be playing any tournaments in Austin this year, fans can still catch the action through local watch parties or on television. “Right now we have two linear deals with ESPN and FOX,” said Floersch, ensuring that fans have ample opportunities to watch their favorite team compete.

The Future of Pickleball in Austin

Looking ahead, there is a palpable sense of excitement surrounding the future of pickleball in Austin. “I definitely think that the sport at the pro level will continue to grow and it will continue to be a part of Austin’s culture and community,” said Floersch. The Texas Ranchers are poised to play a significant role in this growth, fostering a strong connection between the sport and the local community.

What do you think?

Written by Billy Pickles

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