Chassang: One UF player’s journey to the big leagues

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By Jacob Jackson

Django Chassang is not your typical college student. He is also a professional pickleball player who competes in tournaments across the country. Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played on a court with a net, paddles, and a plastic ball with holes.

Chassang, a sophomore at the University of Florida, started playing pickleball when he was 14 years old. He was introduced to the sport by his father, who is also a pickleball enthusiast. Chassang quickly fell in love with the game and decided to pursue it as a career.

“I love the challenge of pickleball. It’s a very fast and strategic game. You have to be quick on your feet and have good hand-eye coordination. You also have to be able to adapt to different opponents and situations,” Chassang said.

Chassang trains every day for about three hours, either at his home court in Gainesville or at the UF Club Pickleball facility. He also works out at the gym and follows a healthy diet. He balances his pickleball career with his academic studies, majoring in business administration.

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“I try to manage my time well and prioritize my tasks. I have a planner where I write down my schedule and deadlines. I also communicate with my professors and classmates if I have to miss a class or an assignment due to a tournament,” Chassang said.

Chassang is one of the top-ranked pickleball players in the country. He has won several titles and awards, including the 2023 US Open Pickleball Championship, the 2023 APP Tour Player of the Year, and the 2023 Pickleball Magazine Player of the Year. He has also represented the United States in international competitions, such as the 2023 World Pickleball Federation Championship, where he won a gold medal.

Chassang’s ultimate goal is to become the world number one pickleball player and to inspire more people to play the sport. He said he is grateful for the support he receives from his family, friends, coaches, sponsors, and fans.

“Pickleball has given me so many opportunities and experiences. I have met amazing people and traveled to different places. I have learned a lot about myself and the sport. I am very passionate about pickleball and I want to share that passion with others,” Chassang said.

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