Allan Luke started playing hockey when he was old enough to walk across the street to the ice rink. He played until age 50. He’s also played softball and coached both AAA division hockey and high school girls fast-pitch softball.
In 2004, he and his wife, Virginia, moved to Longboat Key. They took up pickleball, and he now plays three to four times per week on Anna Maria. Pickleball is a sport played with a ball similar to a wiffle ball and a paddle.
What sparked your interest in pickleball?
(Virginia and I) stopped in the Villages and were visiting some friends. They have 110 Pickleball courts, and we watched it. I looked online and saw that Anna Maria had courts.
What is your favorite aspect of pickleball?
Competition. Competition. Competition. And the people. It was a great way for us to meet a lot of people.
What is the hardest element of playing pickleball?
Realizing that you’re getting older and your reflexes and reaction times aren’t what they used to be.
If you could play a game of pickleball with anyone in the world, with whom would you play?
Probably Bill Wilson — he’s the best at Anna Maria Island (Community Center). Though, I should have said my wife.
What is the breakfast of champions?
Two cups of coffee, a banana and sometimes yogurt. (Long pause). And three Sweet Sixteen donuts.
If you could have a superhero power, what would it be?
Well, two of (Virginia’s) sisters have had breast cancer. So, I would have the power of healing.
Why is it important for you to keep active?
Things in motion stay in motion. Things that rest die.