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John McEnroe and Other Tennis Legends to Play on Behalf of Men’s Second Chance Living
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The winners of the 2023 tournament were Karen Holzman, Elizabeth Lucas, Carol Gullstad, Bob Pierpoint, Cooper Taylor and Chris Seldon. Not shown: Pete Prekeges and Jon Verhaeghe.
   
Tuesday, June 11, 2024
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

The legendary John McEnroe will join Mats Wilander and other tennis legends at the MSCL’s 3rd Annual pickleball tournament and fundraiser in August.

The event, held in partnership with the Wood River Pickleball Alliance, will be held Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 1-4, at The Valley Club north of Hailey.

McEnroe, Wilander, Mikael Pernfors and Vince Van Patten will coach and play throughout the weekend. And they will take part in a welcome party, Legends dinner and paddle up for Men’s Second Chance Living at a private residence. There’ll even be a chance to bid to play on Sunday with the Legends.

John McEnroe, a former No. 1 professional tennis player, was such a fierce competitor that he was named on the 50 Most Intense Competitors in Sports History list. His 82-3 singles match record set in 1984 remains the record for the best single season win percentage of the Open Era. He earned seven Grand Slam Singles Titles, nine Grand Slam Doubles Titles and one Grand Slam Mixed Doubles Titles during his career.

Mats Wilander, also a former No. 1 professional tennis player and a Wood River Valley resident since 2000, has seven Grand Slam Singles Titles, as well as one Men’s Doubles Title at Wimbledon. The Swedish native won his fourth majors singles title by age 20, making him the youngest man in history to have achieved that feat.

Mikael Pernfors is a French Open finalist and back-to-back NCAA Singles Champion.

Vince Van Patten has been ranked in the top 25 in the world in singles and doubles; he’s had wins over nearly every top player, including John McEnroe, in singles. He also is an actor who starred in such TV shows as “Bonanza” and “Baywatch,” as well as such films as “Charley and the Angel,” “Yesterday” and “The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission.” His latest movie “7 Days to Vegas” recounts his million-dollar bet that he could walk from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in seven days. A fitness freak, he took up pickleball at 66 and is currently ranked No. 6 in the world.

Additionally, 16 of the top senior pickleball pros from around the country will play exhibition games and host clinics for 16 amateur teams who will compete for prize money in the third annual tournament.

The Legends and Celebrity Pickleball event kicks off on Thursday, Aug. 1, with Clinics with Senior Pros from 1 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. at The Valley Club.

It will be followed by a senior pro team competition from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, featuring the best senior pickleball players in the country at The Valley Club. The exhibition is free of charge. A welcome cocktail party will be held at 5:30 that evening at a private residence.

The 3rd Annual Pickleball Fundraiser for 16 amateur teams will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday Aug. 3, at The Valley Club, followed by the Legends Dinner and Pickleball Exhibition at a private residence.

The Legends Round Robin featuring McEnroe, Wilander, Pernfors and Van Patten will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at The Valley Club, and is free for spectators. The Senior Pro Team Competition, which follows at 11 a.m., is also free for spectators.

MSCL House, or Men’s Second Chance Living, was founded in 2018 to help men achieve sustained recovery from substance use disorders while successfully transitioning back into society following rehab or jail. The program promotes recovery through four R’s: Recovery living, Rebuilding critical support systems, Restoring physical and mental health and Reentering the workforce.

To learn more or to purchase tickets, go to https://msclhouse.org/pickleball-tournament-2024/.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the weekend. To learn more, email Sonya Wilander, director of MSCL, at sonya@msclhouse.org or Joanne at WRPAEvents@gmail.com.

ABOUT WOOD RIVER PICKLEBALL ALLIANCE:

The alliance is a volunteer organization that builds community through the sport of pickleball. It offers free clinics and equipment from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Fridays at Atkinsons Park in Ketchum, giving people a chance to ty the increasingly popular sport for themselves. And it supports outreach programs, such as MSCL and Ketchum Community Dinners.

Learn more at https://www.woodriverpickleball.org.

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