FULL-COURT PICKLEBALL PRESS AT 2023 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS IN NAPLES THIS WEEK
"Nothing b-roll about the Pickleball Enthusiast, baby."
As the last interview of three days reporting at the 2023 U.S. Open Pickleball Championship Tournament was about to begin, Jeff Bassett and his mixed doubles partner Colleen Frantz were called to play their match. When Bassett was advised our crew would shoot a b-roll of the competition, Bassett responded in swift and no uncertain terms:
"There's nothing b-roll about my game, baby," he retorted, encapsulating in a few words the deeply rooted passion of the pickleball enthusiast, whose energy and dedication to this sport with a less-than-traditional name, knows no bounds.
If you don't believe us, ask any one of the 37 million Americans playing the sport today (up from 4 million just a couple of years ago). It's only a matter of time before the remaining 300,000,000 of us (in the U.S., that is) catch this addictive hobby known for making you feel great physically and connected interpersonally with others who share the interest.
TUNDRA will be featuring a lot of coverage of our time in beautiful Naples during the upcoming weeks; afterall, this event is globally recognized as the largest pickleball tournament of its kind, with 3,000 professional and amateur players supported by more than 40,000 spectators converging in Naples, Florida, headquarters of this annual event. In the interim, we couldn't resist sharing a few of our favorite moments from the past few days in the images below - pictures that don't begin to translate the feeling of being with this group who approaches life with 80% heart and 20% good old-fashioned American strategic ingenuity. Here's what the fusion of competition and connection looks like -- you're welcome.