Players paddle up for pickleball

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – Not long ago, there were just a few places to play the sport of pickleball in South Mississippi. Now, there’s nearly 20 all over the coast.

At the Popp’s Ferry courts, around 30 people come out to play three times a week.

“The first time I played, it was fun, I wasn’t very good at it, but I kept coming back, and I feel like I’ve gotten better at it,” said Yolanda Fredericks. “It’s a lot of fun, and I enjoy it, and it’s a great way to start my morning.”

Larry Kimbrough is usually on the court, paddle in hand, teaching people the finer points of pickleball.

“You’re looking at six months to really get competitive. In the first three months, you’re learning the rules and regulations of the game,” Kimbrough said. “We have people going to New Orleans to play at the Hilton. There’s a tournament over there. We have lots of tournaments here, and we’re looking forward to the deal at the Coliseum.”

That event next month is called the Biloxi American Pickleball Tournament, and it’s set for Sept. 23-25 ​​at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.

“With the tournament coming next month, it’s real exciting, and it’s always good to bring tourism to our area,” Fredericks added.

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