AUSTRALIAN LUCAS PASCOE TAKEN AS NUMBER ONE DRAFT PICK FOR SEASON ONE 2024

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

In a significant move for Major League Pickleball Australia (MLP Australia), Lucas Pascoe, Australia's top junior player and world number 12, has been announced as the first draft pick for the 2024 Season One Draft. Pascoe will be joining the South East Asia Surge (SEA Surge), marking a new era in the league's expansion.

This year's expansion sees the introduction of eight new teams from Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, fighting for a $700,000 prize pool across six events. The season is set to commence on February 23 in Sydney.

Pascoe, renowned for his skill and competitive spirit, was a highly sought-after player in the draft. He expressed his excitement about joining SEA Surge, especially about reuniting with team Captain Pei Chuan Kao on the court.

“I’m really excited and honored to be selected as pick one.” Pascoe stated. “I’ve played and won matches with (team captain) Pei before and can’t wait to get back on court with her for the SEA Surge.”

Adam Thompson, CEO and Co-founder of MLP Australia, highlighted the significance of Pascoe's selection and the overall talent in this year's draft.

"Lucas Pascoe's selection as the top pick underscores the exceptional talent we have in the region. With seven of the first-round picks being Australian talents, it's a testament to the bright future of Pickleball in our country and region," Thompson said.

FULL DRAFT RESULTS:

TEAM LISTS:

Asia Aces: Venise Chan (c), Pini Lee, Wesley Gabrielsen, David Yahng.

Brisbane Breakers: Ludovica Sciaky (c), Wesley Vine, Travis Vine, Ishka Lakani.

Eastern Rush: Katy Hart (c), Joey Wild, Vishal Masand, Naimi Mehta.

Fast Fours: George Wall (c), Michaela Haet, Talia Saunders, Oliver Gray.

Gold Coast Glory: Sarah Burr (c), Danni-Elle Townsend, Alex Fairbanks, Roman Estareja.

Melbourne Mavericks: Aaron Blitz (c), Damien Spizzo, Tina Bianchi, Coco Lococo.

New Zealand Hustle: Matt Carter (c), Kylw Whatnall, Anna Clarice Patrimonio, Alexis Contratto.

Northern Crocs: Somer Dalla Bona (c), Roos Van Reek, Armaan Bhatia, Neilson Chen.

South East Asia Surge: Pei Chuan Kao, Lucas Pascoe, Yuvraj Ruia, Yung-Hsin Tseng.

Southern Stars: Jai Grewal (c), Yu-Chien Hsieh, Xiao Yi Yang Beckvall, Conor Robertshawe.

Sydney Smash: Mitch Hargreaves (c), Emilia Schmidt, Anne Claire Meyer, Jason Taylor. 

Western Vipers: Andy Horridge (c), Casey Rogers, Sarah Lim, Michael Russ. 

In partnership with Major League Pickleball and the national body Pickleball Australia Association (PAA), MLP Australia is set to elevate the sport in the region. The league will adopt the MLPlay™ format, featuring 48 top players from 12 professional teams.

With over 290 players entering the draft, the competition for the 36 selected spots was intense, ensuring a highly competitive inaugural season.

The 2024 season one will journey from Sydney to Auckland and conclude in Brisbane, promising exciting matches and high-stakes competition.

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