In a pickle: meet the 94-year-old dominating Sherman Pickleball courts

With Anchor Dan Thomas and Chief Meteorologist Steve LaNore.
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - With almost 5 million players in the U.S., pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country.

The sport is a mix of tennis, badminton, and ping pong.

“A good tennis player is a good pickleball player generally,” said Tom Wilson, Sherman’s pickleball legend. “It’s been my life now since 2014.”

Wilson is 94 years old.

“I almost past pickleball playing, but I love to get out here, and they tolerate me.”

But his opponents warn, don’t let his age fool you.

“It’s really humiliating at times when he schools you,” said Karen Tooley, a pickleball player. “And not only does he command the court, but he’s a real consummate trash talker. If you make a mistake, he calls it out and it’s hilarious.”

Before pickleball became a smashing hit, Tooley built a court in her backyard without ever playing.

“Or seeing a game,” said Tooley. “And we didn’t even know that there were Youtube videos out there that would have been helpful if we had seen it, but anyway it worked out really well.”

Now, it’s the spot for a group of regulars to play.

“I’ve been in sports all my life,” said Ken Carr, a pickleball player. “I was a sports editor, a sports writer, an instructor. I just love sports, and to be able to do it at 88, it’s a real thrill.”

Even if you get “pickled,” also known as losing 11 to zero.

Wilson said the game is a win-win, both physically and socially.

“It’s a good sport. Good for the body,” said Wilson. “I’ve made some of the best friends that I’ve known in my life.”

They said it’s the perfect sport to take a swing at, no matter your age.