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NEW CANAAN, CT – NOVEMBER 2, 2023: The National Pickleball League, LLC (NPL™ is excited to name Paul Bamundo as its first-ever Chief Executive Officer. A senior marketing and sales executive with extensive experience at the National Basketball Association (NBA), International Management Group (IMG), Subway and the Ivy League, Bamundo will start his position as CEO of the NPL effective immediately, NPL co-founder Michael “Hammer Mike” Chen has announced.

After recently attending the NPL Championship Weekend in Glendale, Arizona at Chicken N Pickle’s ( new entertainment complex, Bamundo said, “I am thrilled to be joining the NPL to lead this incredible league as CEO. There has never been a better time for the growth of pickleball in both interest and participation for people of all ages. I look forward to working with our Champions Pros, co-founders, team owners and partners to build on the great foundation already established during the inaugural year of the NPL. As CEO, I will look to expand the league and provide enhanced access for fans to watch many of the best players in the world competing on the national stage.”

Chen said he is extremely glad to have Bamundo join the NPL as its first-ever CEO. “Our league has grown immeasurably in the past 11 months since we launched last December,” Chen said. “Paul has an incredible background in sports marketing and business development, and his experience building various sports organizations will help accelerate our league’s growth. He is the right person at the right time to lead NPL to greater heights, and my partners, Rick Witsken, Beth Bellamy and I can’t wait for him to get started.”

As CEO, Bamundo will be steering the NPL as they grow from six teams during the 2023 season to a target of 10-12 teams for the 2024 season. NPL is currently taking applications for expansion team owners for 2024.

NPL Pickleball is a nationwide team competition for Champions Division (50 and over) professional pickleball players, featuring top pro players from around the nation. NPL Pickleball will hold three combines in February and March 2024 where players can try out to be drafted for the 2024 season. The 2024 draft will be held in April, and league matches will begin in May.

NPL Pickleball’s regular season weekends will take place from May to September, culminating in a season-ending Championship in October.

Interested parties in NPL expansion team ownership or sponsorships for 2024 should email for more information.

About NPL Pickleball: The National Pickleball League was founded in 2022 by Champions Pro players Rick Witsken, Beth Bellamy and Michael "Hammer Mike" Chen. NPL Pickleball is a nationwide team competition for Champions Division (Age 50+) professional pickleball players.

For more information on NPL Pickleball, visit the league's website at To purchase official NPL Apparel, visit

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