Selkirk Sport - We Are Pickleball


The Lam Family's Journey: From Vietnam to Victory on the Pickleball Courts of Arizona

By Kyle Whatnall

on Jan 09, 2024

In the vibrant city of Surprise, Arizona, the Lam family is making a significant impact in the world of pickleball. Their story is not just about playing a sport; it's about how a family can unite around a shared passion and excel. Larry Lam, who immigrated from Vietnam, has been instrumental in introducing and nurturing the love for pickleball within his family.

Uniting Through Pickleball

The journey into pickleball began somewhat by chance for Larry. A simple request for a ride to a pickleball tournament from a friend piqued his interest in the sport. This serendipitous event led to a family-wide adoption of pickleball, with Larry's wife, Mikki Lieu, and their children, Jaden (15), Kody (13), and Karina (10), all taking up the game. Together, they have grown into formidable players, regularly participating and excelling in national tournaments.

The Lam Children: Dedicated and Skilled Players

Each of the Lam children brings a unique style to the game. Jaden, the oldest, has shown exceptional skill with the SLK Halo paddle, a choice that complements his analytical and strategic approach. His performance in the 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships was outstanding, earning him three gold medals across various junior categories.

Kody, the middle Lam child, prefers the Evo 2.0 paddle. This choice reflects his dynamic and creative approach to the game. He is known for his intense focus during play, using his quick reflexes and innovative shots to gain the upper hand.

Karina, despite being the youngest, displays remarkable courage and skill on the court. Using the Vanguard Power Air paddle, she competes fiercely, often against older and more experienced players. Her confidence and aggressive play style are impressive, especially given her young age.

Pickleball as a Life Lesson

For Larry and Mikki, pickleball is more than just a sport. It's an avenue for teaching valuable life lessons to their children. Their emphasis on education, hard work, and family unity shines through in their approach to pickleball. Larry's journey from Vietnam to the United States, filled with challenges and triumphs, serves as a powerful lesson in resilience and hope for his children.

Cultural Heritage and Aspirations

The Lam family's story is deeply rooted in their Vietnamese heritage, which blends seamlessly with their American experiences. This rich cultural tapestry has shaped their perspectives and contributed significantly to their achievements in pickleball.

Representing Selkirk and Looking to the Future

The Lam family's association with Selkirk has made them ambassadors of the sport. Their impressive haul of medals, including six golds and one bronze at the 2023 Nationals, highlights their dedication and skill. Jaden's first-ever triple crown is a particularly notable achievement and sets a high standard for his siblings and peers.

As the Lam family continues to participate and excel in pickleball, they do more than just play a sport. They serve as an inspiration to many, showcasing how sports can bring families together, bridging cultures and nurturing dreams through friendly competition and mutual respect.

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