Boca pickleball player celebrates new complex at Broward College

Boca Raton’s Jake Teich has been playing pickleball for the past two years and he was on hand to help open the Diadem Indoor Pickleball Complex at Broward College in Coconut Creek.

It is the lone facility in South Florida that is both indoors and dedicated to pickleball only. All nine courts are championship-size, and it is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

For Teich, 28, it was a homecoming of sorts as he took dual enrollment classes at Broward College while attending school at Taravella High School in Coral Springs. Teich was one of about 1,500 people to participate in the open play as it opened its doors to the public.

“I was living in Daytona Beach, and they had a beautiful facility up there called Pictona (in Holly Hill),” Teich said. “It’s like 60 courts, some indoors and some outdoors. I went to Broward College doing dual enrollment while I was at Taravella High (2013 grad), so this is pretty cool from a nostalgic point of view.

“It’s a great community,” Teich said of the pickleball explosion in recent years. “The reason I feel like I am pulled to pickleball is because of the social aspect. You put down a paddle and you have three new friends.

Jack Teich, 28, of Boca Raton, returns a shot during open play during the recent grand opening of the Diadem Indoor Pickleball Complex at Broward College in Coconut Creek. (Gary Curreri/Courtesy)
Boca Raton’s Jack Teich played at the grand opening of the Diadem Indoor Pickleball Complex at Broward College in Coconut Creek. (Gary Curreri/Courtesy)

“The first guy I ever played with was 81 years old and he was called Pickleball Pete,” said Teich, a psychiatrist, who earned his degree at Florida State University. “It was a heckuva time. It’s a lot of fun.”

The Diadem Pickleball Complex offers varying programs catered to players of all skill levels. Whether it’s structured open play, clinics, tournaments, leagues, or engaging social events, there will be something for players of all skill levels, from first-time pickle ballers to touring pros like Diadem’s Christian Alshon, of Boca Raton.

“This is very cool,” Teich said of the facility. “Playing indoors for me, I don’t mind the outdoors as much, but I think the best benefit for me is that if I have three friends that want to play, this is an easy way to do it. We just put our names down and play for three or four hours. It’s a beautiful facility.”

Michael Manglardi, the co-founder of Diadem Sports, said the 14,000-square-foot facility was crafted from what used to be the Omni Auditorium.

“It was a stage where they would do ballet, theater and performing arts, and years ago it was a gymnasium for their basketball team,” Manglardi said. “We and Broward College started initial conversations in the fall of 2022. That was when they came to us, and we went to them, and we talked about what the potential might be.”

Teich said there are many great pickleball players in South Florida and the facility would likely help continue the growth of the sport.

“It’s on YouTube every week and big-time companies are sponsoring tournaments,” Teich said. “I think next will be on college campuses as an NCAA sport. They have club teams at colleges. It is just exciting stuff.

“In general, when I show up to play pickleball, I text my friend Rob, who is in his 60s and is a retired dentist,” Teich said. “I text my buddy, Ira, I text my buddy Matt, who is around my age, and that is the beauty of it. It is intergenerational with friendships.”

He surveyed the nine courts at the complex, and smiled.

“I don’t know what relationships you develop playing this game,” he said. “It is indiscriminate of age. You’ll see guys out here in their 80s, with two knee replacements, maybe a hip replacement (and) they are rocking with it, just like some of us young guys.”

The complex is at 1000 Coconut Creek Blvd. in Coconut Creek. Email info@diadempickleballcomplex.com.

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