A trip to the greater Phoenix area was in order for today. The number one reason for going was to attend the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Foot Solutions Arizona Grand Slam—41 courts of outstanding pickleball, including 36 outdoor courts, 4 Medal Courts, and a Stadium Court. We focused our attention on the the Stadium Court where notable pros were playing mens’ and women’s doubles. Most of the top-ranked players were there, and they are awesome pickleball players. The photos below feature Ben Johns and his brother, Collins. Ben Johns is currently the highest ranked men’s player in the world in all three divisions: singles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles. A student at the University of Maryland majoring in Materials Engineering, Johns grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland playing tennis and table tennis. In March of 2016, he first picked up a pickleball paddle and instantly fell in love with the game. He is 22 years old and has a net worth of $1.2 milliion. By the way, he has the highest percentage of shots playing the kitchen line of any of the top ranked pro players; there’s a lot to be said for dinking!
After pickleball, we drove to the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert for some quick photos of birds. Given the late time of the day, there weren’t many flying about or eating, but a few did manage to be photographed.
And then, it was off to Trader Joe’s for dark roast coffee beans, but they were out; phooey! And then it was to Costco for gasoline prior to returning home.