Tim Cass and Derek Kraje to Represent Team Performance on Pro Tours
Richmond, VA – Performance Pickleball RVA is extremely proud to partner with the Roanoke Ruckus and professional players Tim Cass and Derek Kraje as they pursue their careers on the PPA and APP tours.
The dual partnerships with the Ruckus, and Cass and Kraje, represent Team Performance’s desire to showcase pickleball talent throughout Virginia, while also expanding its brand footprint outside of its flagship facility (PPBRVA).
“We have always intended for Performance to be much more than just the Taj Mahal of pickleball, which it will be,” said PPBRVA COO Jon Laaser. “Being able to provide funding for aspiring and established players alike from Virginia allows us to give those players much-deserved opportunities, while also carrying our brand to a larger audience.”
In tournament competition, Cass and Kraje will wear Performance Pickleball apparel, a newly-minted brand aimed to outfit pickleball players of all levels with optimum pickleball style and comfort at an affordable price. Upon its official launch on August 1st, 2023, the Performance Pickleball apparel line will be available at PPBRVA.com.
The Roanoke Ruckus are a tournament team co-founded by Cass and Tyler Reburn. Based in Roanoke, VA, their members travel statewide to support tournaments within the state. The Ruckus compete at all skill levels and leave an indelible mark on each tournament where they compete.
“When I first met members of the Ruckus, I was immediately struck by their infectious camaraderie and enthusiasm for the sport of pickleball,” added Laaser. “Upon watching them grow as a team and then witnessing Tim and Derek claim gold at The Body Armor 804 Open, I knew we needed to work together to grow the game.”
Cass and Kraje will lead at least four clinics for players of all ages and skill levels at PPBRVA in 2024, and will also participate in special event exhibitions planned for the facility.
Cass, currently completing a degree in Sports Management from the University of Florida, plans to pursue his playing career, but also to grow the game in Virginia through coaching and business endeavors within the sport.
“I couldn’t have imagined a scenario where I’d be a sponsored athlete at this point in my career,” said Cass. “Having the resources and people around me to pursue professional pickleball is such an honor. I’m beyond excited to partner with PPB as I compete regionally and nationwide.”
Kraje, a senior studying finance and accounting at Virginia Tech, recently started The Pickleball Club at Virginia Tech along with fellow player Zach Gladstone. As he finishes his degree, he has aspirations of spreading the sport to college-age athletes.
“I am so excited for this incredible opportunity to represent the Performance Pickleball brand at various local and national tournaments,” said Kraje. “Two years ago, after picking up a pickleball paddle for the first time, I would’ve never imagined I’d have this opportunity. This sponsorship will help push my game to new levels and pursue a professional career in pickleball.”
The duo of Cass and Kraje have been prolific in Open Division tournaments throughout the state in the last year. They have claimed four Open Division gold medals, including both The Virginia Pickleball Classic and The Body Armor 804 Open – each contested at Pouncey Tract Park in Glen Allen. They will make their PPA Tour debut this week at the Oh Snap! PPA Denver Open presented by Vizzy in Denver, CO.
The Roanoke Ruckus signature line of apparel will be available in conjunction with the Performance Pickleball apparel launch on August 1st, 2023.