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What George Clooney, Katy Perry and these pickleball pros have in common

What George Clooney, Katy Perry and these pickleball pros have in common

  • Celebrities truly are just like us…at least when it comes to pickleball. George and Amal Clooney are among the celebrities that love to spend time on the pickleball court.

For some couples, playing together involves a lot of time on the pickleball court. After all, what could be better than spending a few hours running around and having fun with your favorite person? 

As pickleball takes the world by storm, celebrity couples are also hitting the court to bond, play, and connect. Here are just a few of our favorite pickleball-playing pairs, from Hollywood heavyweights to pickleball pros. 

George and Amal Clooney

George Clooney spends most of his time on Hollywood movie sets, starring in hits like Oceans 11 and Michael Clayton or directing critical darlings like Goodnight, and Good Luck and The Ides of March. His wife, Amal, spends most of her time impacting the world as a human rights lawyer and adjunct professor at Columbia Law School. 

But the pair loves to let off some steam on the pickleball court, with Amal often nabbing a victory over George. 

Their matches aren’t all picture-perfect, though. The pair occasionally gets a little heated on the court – although George would prefer not to admit that. 

“We don’t fight over pickleball just because it’d be so embarrassing to admit it on, like national television, that you fight over the word ‘pickleball’, you know what I’m saying,” George told Extra at the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s Albie Awards in 2023. 

It’s OK, George. Your secret is safe with us. 

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez

For Ben and Jen, pickleball is a family affair. 

In 2023, they were spotted sneaking in a game of pickleball with their kids in the Hamptons. Ben’s children, Violet and Samuel, and one of Jennifer’s children, Emme, joined them on the court, according to Page Six. 

Turns out, the couple is never far from a pickleball court. Jenny from the Block’s 38,000-square foot Hollywood Hills home with Ben has all the amenities you’d find on your own block, including an indoor pickleball court, according to Cosmopolitan.

In fact, the home is basically heaven for the active pair, with a full sports lounge, boxing ring, sauna, and massage room. 

Pickleball and pampering? Sounds like a dream! 

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom

You’re going to hear Katy Perry roar on the pickleball court. The pop star and her fiance, Orlando Bloom, are avid pickleball players. In fact, they might be one of the celebrity power couples of the sport. 

Katy hosted the Light Up the Court pickleball tournament in 2023 to raise money for her Firework Foundation, which aims to empower children through the arts. The inaugural tournament turned out to be a victory for her foundation. Katy also earned an on-court victory of her own. 

“…Not to brag, but I totally beat @OrlandoBloom in front of everyone too,” she wrote on Instagram.

Clearly, Katy has the eye of a tiger. 

Julian Arnold and Lauren Stratman 

Professional pickleball players, Julian Arnold and Lauren Stratmen stick together on and off the court, and it’s clear they make a pretty good team. 

Julian and Lauren started dating more than two years ago and play mixed doubles together. Their relationship story is the stuff Hallmark movies are made of. They played each other in a tennis tournament when they were 12 and 14 years old, Lauren told Pickleball TV. They discovered the connection after they met as adults.

“I just love hanging out with him,” Lauren told the website. “I’m just really lucky to have met him.”

The pair live together in Austin, Texas, and reached the quarterfinals of The Masters in Palm Springs in January. 

Ben Newell and Yana Newell

Lauren’s Chicken N Pickle Pro Team teammates, Ben and Yana Newell, have a professional pickleball love story of their own. 

They met – you guessed it – playing pickleball. Ben was playing in a league occasionally, and Yana joined the group on Saturdays. It took some time, but eventually, they started dating. 

“He says we could’ve been a really great mixed doubles couple, but he made a mistake when we asked me out on a date,” Yana told the Picklehead Podcast. 

They still play mixed doubles but have learned to have a clear-cut strategy heading into a game to ensure it runs smoothly. 

Martin and Tammy Emmrich

The Emmrich family is used to being on the court. Pickleball pros Martin and Tammy met while playing professional tennis. Then, Tammy fell in love with pickleball, like so many other former tennis players. Eventually, she introduced Martin to the game in October 2022. 

The rest, as they say, is history. 

Martin and Tammy both play Major League Pickleball. Tammy played for the Austin Pickleballers. Martin played for the St. Louis Shock.

Martin and Tammy have one daughter, Gabriella.

Do you feel the love in the air? 

Whether they’re playing mixed doubles together or locked in fierce competition against each other, these couples embody the spirit of playing together to stay together. The next time you’re playing a date night with your sweetie, channel your inner celebrity, grab your paddle, and hit the kitchen like you’re George and Amal Clooney!

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