Pickleball growing fast at the Green Valley Rec Center

Green Valley, Ariz - It's a Thursday morning, and there's a wait to get on the pickleball courts at the Green Valley Recreation Center.

"During the winter time, there will be as many as 30 paddles lined up here," said veteran Gary Heintz.

The paddle of Gary Heintz produces some of the strongest shots. That's because the 70 year old took up the game after playing competitive tennis, something he was physically no longer able to do. Heintz learned there were others like him.

"So we had a saying," he chuckled. "This is where old tennis players go to die."

That almost happened to Heintz, who actually suffered a heart attack on the court. With doctors advising him to stay active after recovery, Heintz wasn't about to give up the game he loves.

"Pickleball was the motivation for me to work out so I could keep playing."

One rule difference in pickleball is that the serve is underhanded. There is also no serve and volley allowed. And, one can't go in the front zone, or kitchen, unless the ball bounces first. The fast growing sport was named after a pickle boat. It provides exercise, comradery, and competition to those in the Green Valley Pickleball Club.

"It's why I get up in the morning, to play pickleball."

 

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