Purdue Pickleball Club: A Tale of Rapid Growth and Triumph

Joey Powers, a senior in Computer Science, from Edina, MN, set to graduate in the spring of 2024, has a passion for technology that was nurtured from a young age. Encouraged by his father, he engaged in activities like coding, learning programming languages such as Python and Ruby, and indulging in video games. It was during high school that his genuine interest in Computer Science came to light. Joey’s journey took an exciting turn when he secured a summer internship in Boston, MA at Klaviyo, a company specializing in automating e-commerce marketing. Their software, which utilizes customer data, is designed to send intelligent emails and SMS, streamlining the marketing process for e-commerce brands. Joey was thrilled to receive a return offer upon graduation, a testament to his dedication and the positive connections he forged during his amazing internship experience.

Pictured above: Joey Powers

In his sophomore year, Joey embarked on the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, setting him on a distinctive educational path that equipped him with the knowledge and skills required for success in the startup world, all while pursuing his Computer Science degree. His academic journey was enhanced by a diverse selection of courses within the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. Currently engaged in a capstone course aligned with his Software Engineering Track, which also contributes to his certificate, he values the program for its immersive real-world experiences that have honed his essential leadership skills and workplace acumen. Joey’s journey serves as a testament to the program’s seamless integration with various majors, and he enthusiastically encourages students from all fields to explore the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

Outside of the classroom, Joey can be found on a pickleball court. Joey’s journey into pickleball was a bit unexpected. Having played tennis in high school, he stumbled upon the sport when he joined an adult group at a local Lifetime Fitness where he was invited to play pickleball on Wednesday nights, and he quickly fell in love with the game. His journey showcases how unexpected opportunities can lead to incredible passions. This year, Purdue University’s Pickleball Club has witnessed an astounding surge in popularity thanks to the leadership of Joey and his dedicated team. Starting as a small group of friends playing on Saturday mornings, the club has now expanded to 700 members. They’ve made France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center at Purdue their home, setting up courts on the basketball courts to accommodate their growing numbers.

The club offers play opportunities for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced players. Their journey into competitive play began in September when they sent two teams to compete at a DUPR Collegiate Regional competition in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Currently, they are in the process of applying to be a club sport at Purdue. Joey and his partner, Caleb Yeung, have secured a spot in the top men’s doubles challenger group at the DUPR National Pickleball Championship in Atlanta, Georgia, from November 17th to 19th. This remarkable journey illustrates how unexpected opportunities can lead to newfound passions. We wish the Purdue Pickleball Club the best of luck in their upcoming championship and look forward to their continued growth and success.