Miami Heat Star Jimmy Butler Honorary Chair Of First Ever Miami Padel Open

Miami Heat Star Jimmy Butler Honorary Chair Of First Ever Miami Padel Open

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It is not every day when you have the opportunity to go one-on-one on a padel court with a sports legend. But on Wednesday, CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo did just that.

Petrillo squared off with Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler.

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Butler is honorary chair of Miami Padel Open. It’s a six-day pro and celebrity tournament now on at Island Gardens, a 2,000 person open entertainment venue, just next to the Miami Children’s Museum.

Butler teamed up with entrepreneur and philanthropist Wayne Boich, who founded this tournament.

“In the US, it’s one of the fastest-growing sports. Globally, outside of the US, it is the fastest-growing sport. About 5 million people play in Spain,” said Boich.

As a longtime player, Boich has teamed up with World Padel Tour to deliver the first Miami Padel Open, which consists of the top male and female players in the world.

Boich gathered up huge brand sponsors for this inaugural tournament like La Fête du Rosé, ZZ’s Club, and Pura Vida to name a few to create this local event.

It features the top padel ballplayers in the world and will have after game nightly concerts with big name music artists such as Wyclef Jean, Ludacris and Rick Ross.

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“I think for me this will be an event that we’ll look back on in 20-30 years and say, ‘Wow, remember how everyone thought this was pickle ball or ping pong?’ I think will be amazing over time. I think ultimately we’ll have more tournaments in the US, not only in Miami, but Miami will be the center of it,” said Boich.

Butler says he’s a natural at this sport.

“Everybody thinks I’m great at basketball, but it’s crazy how talented I am when I have a padel racket in my hand,” he said joking.

And so, it was a bumpy road at first for Petrillo.  But then she found some sort of footing playing against the sports legend, who, yes, is a competitor through and through. But he’s also quite the gentleman.

“Miami needs this. Miami deserve this. I think the game of padel is growing around the world and for it to be here in Miami with all the best players, excluding myself obviously, is huge for the city,” said Butler.

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