Branson School News, Sports, Life and Opinion

The Blazer

Branson’s student-run newspaper
Branson School News, Sports, Life and Opinion

The Blazer

Branson School News, Sports, Life and Opinion

The Blazer

Top pickleballer Nico Moon popularizes sport at Branson

Clara Lu
Nico Moon ’27 showcases his pickleball skills during a game at Branson. His dedication to the sport has led to the establishment of a popular pickleball club on campus. Courtesy of the Moon Family

Anyone who knows Nico Moon ‘27 knows about his passion for pickleball. In his first year at Branson, Moon single-handedly brought a new sport to the school community. 

Branson has a commitment to developing students who “positively impact the world,” and Moon easily exemplifies this criteria. He and Tommy Higgins ‘25 have not only introduced a fast-growing pickleball club at Branson, but also held a highly successful tournament in October, providing Branson students with opportunities to engage with the sport and foster meaningful connections. 

The response was overwhelming. 

“It seemed to be a big hit, so I’m hoping to set up more tournaments with Tommy in the future,” Moon said.

Moon embarked on his pickleball journey just two years ago with his father and has climbed the local ranks, participating in various championships and envisioning a future as a professional pickleball player. The father-son duo dedicate several hours to the game each week.

Recently, Moon and his father received press coverage for their national championship tournament wins. Moon won bronze in the mixed doubles competition (ages 8-14), while his father won gold and silver in two categories. 

“My dad is usually my partner and it’s really fun getting to play with him on the court,” said Moon.

Moon enjoys spreading the joy of the game among his peers at Branson, but he sees a future for himself beyond casual tournaments.

“I would like to go pro after college and play at the elite level,” he said.

Moon also recognizes that only some people have played pickleball and are fans, but he would like to see that change. 

“I think maybe people don’t play [pickleball] because they might be judged and made fun of. It’s not such a popular sport, so I think people are scared of it,” he said. 

Ever positive about pickleball, Moon is excited for more people to give it a try. Crowds of people watched from the sidelines of the school tournament each week as the players gave the game a chance. The brackets gave students and teachers a healthy dose of competition and laughter.

Through their initiative, Moon and Higgins have brought a unique and lesser-known sport to the forefront and created a community where students experience the camaraderie and competition of pickleball.

Moon’s pioneering spirit has broadened the possibilities at Branson — an example of how a vision and a little perseverance can enrich an entire community. 

“Seeing teachers and students come together and have fun with one another was really amazing to see,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Lauren Dignan
Lauren Dignan, Writer