Rising local talent takes on the pickleball world at the U.S. Pickleball Open

A 13-year-old boy from Jacksonville is making waves in the world of pickleball. Rex is turning heads as he competes with high-level talent at the 2024 U.S. Pickleball Open in Naples, Florida.

What started as a love for the game has now transformed into a serious pursuit of professional status for this dedicated young athlete. “I wanted to play this instead of golf, and pursue this passion,” Rex shares, highlighting his love for the game and his commitment to excelling in it.

However, Rex’s journey to success hasn’t been without its challenges. Grownups did not want to play with him, admits Rex’s father.


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Despite the odds, Rex persisted, continuously honing his skills on the court. Even as a relative newcomer to the game, he didn’t shy away from playing against opponents who were two, three, or even four times his age.

“I tell them, you know what, go at it. By doing that, it elevates his game,” Rex’s father affirms, recognizing the value of facing tough competition in driving improvement.

Now, Rex is set to showcase his talent alongside more than 3,000 players from across the globe at the U.S. Pickleball Open in Naples, Florida. Competing in the 5.0 Division, he represents not only his local community but also the future of youth in the sport within the adult division.

“I’m playing in the 5.0 Division, and maybe I can be a pro one day,” Rex shares, embodying the ambition and determination of a true athlete with his sights set on the top.

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