Who's on what team?
The Major League Pickleball (MLP) draft for the 12 Premier Level teams was held privately on Monday, with the results revealed live on the Tennis Channel. This landmark event marks a new chapter in professional pickleball as top athletes are selected by teams to compete at the highest level of competition. The expansion of the eligible player pool and increased prize money has helped attract more interest in MLP, leading to an increase in excitement and anticipation leading up to Monday’s draft. The 2023 Major League Pickleball (MLP) draft was one of the most highly anticipated in recent years with a pool of incredibly talented players from all over the world. With such a deep pool of talent, teams were forced to make tough decisions at each pick to make sure their franchises were built for success.
Anna Leigh Waters (#1), Ben Johns (#2), JW Johnson (#3), at pick #4, Anna Bright was selected by the NY Hustlers. A triple threat player, Anna brings a unique energy and passion to MLP that is unmatched. She is an ace in singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles and her abilities are renowned throughout the sport.
Following Anna’s selection at #4 was Catherine Parenteau who was chosen by the LA Mad Drops. Catherine is also considered a triple threat on the court but her record wasn’t quite as impressive as Anna’s so it was a close call between these two picks.
At #6, Riley Newman moved up in the draft as he was traded from 8th pick by Adam Stone and his Hard Eight team. Riley is already considered one of the best doubles players in the world and will be an incredible asset to Hard Eight which only makes their team stronger considering that Riley will miss the first event of 2023 due to an injury setback.
Jay Devilliers went 7th overall to Cabo Vamos while Jessie Irvine rounded out the top 8 going to FL Smash. Vivienne David went 9th overall to LV Night Owls and we anticipate her being an integral part of their roster this season given her tremendous skill level which rivals some of the other picks made in this year’s draft.
Andrea Koop went 10th overall to BLQK while Callie Smith joined Milwaukee Mashers at 11th pick. Rounding out this year’s top 12 is Zane N who joins forces with San Francisco Stormers at #12 overall. Each of these picks bring something unique and special to their respective teams in terms of skillset, attitude and potential on the court which could give them just what they need to succeed this upcoming season in MLP play.
This year’s draft had some serious star power and produced some truly great talent that will be gracing courts across major cities all around America this season. It will certainly be interesting seeing which teams came away as winners during this year’s MLP draft by selecting strong players that have what it takes not just to compete but also have staying power throughout multiple seasons or even become superstars within MLP play itself!