Throughout the year, people use NominateAPlayer.com to tell us all about their favorite players. Many times they tell us about players they know who win lots of tournaments. But also they tell us about people who have had tremendous impacts on their communities or towns or even the game of pickleball overall. Additionally, as we travel across the country to tournament after tournament, we ask the question, “who is your favorite pickleball player and why?” Again, we get many answers.
This year’s award winner was not only nominated by many people, but we got to witness first hand as he put his personal stamp on the sport of pickleball.
Kyle has been winning tournaments right and left for several years, but in 2016 people saw a side of Kyle that went beyond simply winning pickleball matches.
Yes, in Men’s Doubles, in the four largest open tournaments Kyle brought home Gold three times and Silver once. (Nationals VIII – Gold, Tournament of Champions – Gold, US Open – Gold and Grand Canyon State Games – Silver). And yes, Kyle also garnered Silver Singles Medals at the US Open and Tournament of Champions. Quite a year on the courts indeed.
But in 2016 we saw Kyle playing in, and committing to, exhibition matches across the country, including fundraisers for such great organizations as (coming in Feb 2017) Alex’s Lemonade Stand (one of our personal favorites), plus the Andy Roddick Foundation and more.
And several voters pointed out how great a clinician Kyle is as he teaches players how to move to that next level.
We also had the pleasure of working with Kyle on the new USAPA Juniors Program which is energizing our sport with players under the age of 18.
So as you can see, though we had many other extremely worthy nominees, the voters once again got it right.
Join us in congratulating the 2016 Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year: Kyle Yates
PREVIOUS PICKLEBALL ROCKS PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:
2015 – Scott and Daniel Moore
2014 – Alex Hamner and Jennifer Lucore
2013 – Jim and Yvonne Hackenberg
2012 – Enrique Ruiz