Players to Watch – Tyler Loong
The sport of pickleball is often affectionately called “mini tennis.” That comparative moniker caught the attention of Tyler Loong.
A highly competitive junior tennis player, Tyler eventually wound up on the campus of Brigham Young University, a talented player good enough to compete at the Division 1 level for the Cougars. Along the way, he graduated with a degree in communications.
Eventually, he decided to pick up a paddle and give pickleball a try. That was not quite five years ago. “Growing up playing tennis, I always loved what people called “mini tennis.” In mini tennis, it really focuses on strategy and finesse and after being introduced to pickleball, I soon realized that the sport incorporates so many of these different skills which I loved from tennis, mini tennis, basketball, and almost any other sport.
Tyler was an adrenaline junkie and loved all sports, some extreme. Whether it was recreational or competitive, Tyler learned different aspects from each of the sports and transitioned them into his new love for pickleball. “Being able to play a sport that incorporates everything: speed, agility, power, strategy, and more importantly, fun, made this game all too easy to become addicted to. The rest is history.”
History began at the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships where Tyler found himself across the net from the world’s #1 men’s singles player, Tyson McGuffin. Even though he lost, Tyler played a hard-fought match and is now considered one of the top young stars on the world pickleball circuit. At the 2019 US Open in Naples, Florida, Tyler, along with his partner Matt Goebel placed fourth in Men’s Pro Doubles.
Like so many of the other athletes at Nationals. Tyler is awe-struck by the beauty and majestic layout of Indian Wells Tennis Garden. “It’s a dream come true. Growing up heavily involved in the tennis community, this venue here at Indian Wells is known as a true world-class facility. Being able to play pickleball at this beautiful location, words simply can’t describe my feelings.”