Aug 23, 2022 - Sports

Gov. Jay Inslee shares his love of pickleball with ESPN

Gov. Inslee smiles while wearing a pullover while next to a flag of the state of Washington.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in March 2020. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee appeared on ESPN SportsCenter on Sunday waxing poetic about pickleball.

Driving the news: The increasingly popular sport was invented on Bainbridge Island, which is not only Inslee's hometown, but "what is known as Mecca to pickleballers," Inslee said during the video.

  • Earlier this year, Washington lawmakers voted to make pickleball the state's official sport.

What they're saying: "People do come from all over the world to this court, to see where pickleball was invented," Inslee said, referencing the court at the former home of the late U.S. Rep. Joel Pritchard — one of the sport's inventors.

  • Pritchard's son told ESPN he was bored with the pace of life on Bainbridge Island and had told his father so — which led to Pritchard inventing the game, with the help of two friends, in 1965.

Now, you can count the governor among the game’s legion of fans.

  • "Everybody can play — grandmas, kids, nieces — from age 3 to 100. That’s a pretty wonderful thing," Inslee told ESPN.

Watch the whole video here.

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