The Major League Expansion franchise D.C. Pickleball Team (DCPT), the capital’s newest professional sports sensation, is making waves by generously donating professional-level pickleball equipment to Ida B. Wells Middle School. But that’s not all: They also brought the pickleball party to the school with an exciting in-person pickleball demonstration!
Giving Back To The Community
Joining the ranks of MLP ahead of the 2023 season, DCPT has already captivated fans’ hearts with its star-studded ownership group. This dream team includes the likes of Al Tylis, Sam Porter, Eva Longoria, Justin Verlander, Kate Upton, Rip Hamilton, Shawn Marion, Odell Beckham Jr., and Mesut Ozil. Talk about an all-star lineup!
In their quest to unite communities through the exhilarating sport of pickleball, DCPT aims to boost and elevate the game in every possible way. When they learned about Ida B. Wells Middle School’s mission to develop students as community change agents and their interest in teaching pickleball as part of their physical education curriculum, DCPT knew they had to step in and lend their support.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to work alongside the incredible Ida B. Wells Middle School as they nurture students as change agents for our community,” exclaims Adam Behnke, Chief Operating Officer of D.C. Pickleball Team. “We’re absolutely passionate about inspiring the next generation of pickleball players and community leaders. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated faculty who have embraced pickleball in their curriculum. With this brand-new equipment, we’re confident their P.E. program will soar to new heights, making a positive impact on our community.”
Dream Come True
DCPT’s very own players, Stefan Auvergne and Shelby Bates, went to the school and showcased their skills, helping teach the students the art of pickleball. Imagine the thrill of learning directly from professional players – It’s a dream come true!
Brian Cross, Head of Physical Education at Ida B. Wells Middle School, couldn’t contain his enthusiasm. “We’re immensely grateful to the incredible D.C. Pickleball Team for their unwavering support of our physical education efforts. Their dedication to teaching our students the game and generous equipment donation to our program is a testament to the true spirit of professional sports. It’s one thing for me to promote a healthy lifestyle through sports, but having these professional players and team right here with us, now that’s what truly inspires our students!”
Introducing the D.C. Pickleball Team
In their first MLP season, DCPT is competing at Challenger Level, ready to conquer the courts and show off their skills. However, in season two, they’re set to take on the Premier Level and aim for pickleball greatness.
The year will be split into two exciting “seasons” featuring three events each. The MLP Premier Level will see 12 teams battling it out with the top 48 drafted players, while the MLP Challenger Level will have another 12 teams with the next 48 drafted players.
The roster for season one includes remarkable players like Sam Querrey, a 10-time ATP Tour titleist and former world No. 11, along with the electrifying newcomer Stefan Auvergne, who not only excelled in tennis but also thrived as a competitive gamer and race car driver.
Joining them are Shelby Bates, a former D1 tennis star from Coastal Carolina University, and Judit Castillo, another former D1 tennis player from Northwestern State University. This dream team is poised to dominate the pickleball courts with their unmatched talent and energy!
Stay up-to-date with the D.C. Pickleball Team and their exciting journey. Visit their website at dcpickleballteam.com and make sure to follow them on their buzzing social media channels:
Ida B. Wells Middle School
Ida B. Wells Middle School is a beacon of social justice and a hub for comprehensive education. This remarkable school has embraced the Social Justice Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM), creating an environment that fosters balance, rigor, and love for learning.
But that’s not all, it goes above and beyond by empowering its students to become catalysts for change within the community. Since its establishment in 2019 with a courageous group of 6th-grade students, the school has expanded one grade at a time and now stands proud as a 6th-8th grade middle school. They are committed to nurturing compassionate leaders who will shape a better world.
The collaboration between the D.C. Pickleball Team and Ida B. Wells Middle School is a testament to the power of unity and the spirit of sportsmanship.
Read our article about where to play pickleball in the D.C. area.
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