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Pro pickleballer pays local visit
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Steve Kennedy is a professional pickleball player. He owns South Florida Pickleball Academy and tours the country offering classes to pickleball enthusiasts. Local players received an impromptu visit from him last week. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Local pickleball enthusiasts were even more energized last week with a visit from a professional pickleball player. 

Steve Kennedy is considered one of the top senior pickleball players in the world. He owns South Florida Pickleball Academy which is in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach area.

The professional generously offered an impromptu clinic during his visit at the outdoor tennis courts at Milner Recreation Center to offer his knowledge and improvement tips.

“I’m actually on vacation with the family,” said Kennedy. “My wife and I built a vacation home in the Rocky River area several years ago.”

Kennedy traveled the world playing professional tennis earning a top 200 ATP world ranking. 

When it comes to pickleball, he’s a national champion and multiple national medal winner in singles and doubles competition and is one of the top Senior Professional Pickleball Players in the country.

He is now dedicated to teaching and playing pickleball full time and is an International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association certified pickleball instructor, offering everything needed to play winning pickleball.

“A couple times a year, the corporation flies me around the country offering clinics,” said Kennedy. “My class is $575 per person. Some will actually fly in for a weekend. I’d say, with their hotel stay, it costs them between $2,000 and $3,000.” 

Kennedy was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He is a member of Team Engage, a professional pickleball team. 

McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department wants to add pickleball to its roster of leagues. An outdoor tennis court is reserved for players every Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p.m.