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Brandeis students establish Pickleball Club

Brandeis undergraduate students Jack Granahan ’26 and Parker Press ’26 recently established Pickleball Club, making their club the first Boston-based collegiate pickleball team, according to CBS News. The two club leaders discussed what motivated them to create the club and their future goals in an interview with The Hoot. 

Pickleball is a racket sport that can be played with single opponents or doubles where players rally a hollow, perforated plastic ball back and forth until the point is lost. While pickleball was previously more popular in older demographics, it has recently been cited as one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, with a growing base at the collegiate level. 


Granahan had been playing pickleball for over three years prior to joining Brandeis. Press had started pickleball in eighth grade, but began enjoying it more in the recent past. “When I figured out that Parker was also seeking to start a pickleball club, we started working together to make this dream a reality,” Granahan explained. Press added, “I felt that Brandeis could use a sports club that had a competitive but more importantly a club sport with a social aspect that brings all different types of people in the community together.” 


In comparison to other racket sport counterparts like tennis, “Pickleball is a sport that is able to bring people together from all different types of backgrounds. Also, it has a low barrier of entry so it is easy for people to learn to play and get good at the sport quickly,” Press noted. While physical strength and agility are important, “there are plenty of other scenarios in the sport where other skills are even more important,” such as communication and fast decision-making, Granahan said. 

One of the main pillars of their clubs is their openness to members of all skill levels. “We make a very big deal about our openness to members of all skill levels. Everyone is welcome to attend practices, even if they’ve never picked up a pickleball racquet before (which was the case for many of our members). One benefit of pickleball is its relatively low skill floor compared to other sports, meaning that a new player can become fairly decent at pickleball without years of training,” Granahan explained, “In the club, we provide equipment to all members so there is no barrier of entry. Being that is an easy sport to learn, people that have no prior experience can learn the sport quickly and build their skills. At the club, we make an effort to make sure everyone has an opportunity to play in competitive and non competitive settings,” Press said. 

The club leaders described past tournaments and milestones that their club has had. Earlier this month, the club participated in a scrimmage, or match, against Worcester Polytechnic Institute on April 3rd. They have an upcoming tournament with the University of Rhode Island in a couple of weeks. Since their club’s establishment, Granahan and Press now have over 50 members. Becca Dranikoff ’26, a member at large in the Pickleball Club, shared, “Practices are very fun–laid back, yet competitive.” Additionally, another member Jared Marantz ’26 shared, “Being  in the club has allowed me to meet new people and grow friendships.”

The Pickleball Club currently meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Shapiro Gym at Gosman on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Granahan encouraged any interested members to reach out by emailing either him or Press and following along with club news at @brandeispickleball on Instagram.

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