J.K. Dineen – High Spirited

JK Dineen and Doug Shoemaker, the president of the nonprofit Mercy Housing, were sitting outside near Golden Gate Park enjoying a beer, when Doug suggested we “meet next time at the pickleball courts.”  A tennis player, JK readily took to Pickleball, joining the early morning drop-in crowd at Louis Sutter. Although he joins friends at other courts, including the Goldman Tennis Center in Golden Gate Park (“when they can make a reservation”), Louis Sutter remains his home court.

“There’s such an ease of entry to the game, everyone is so generous of their time, so willing to introduce you to the game, particularly on weekends.” The drop-in play aspect of the game appeals to JK. Unlike tennis where you have to organize the game ahead of time, with Pickleball you can arrive at the courts and there are always people willing to play. Some weekends, JK’s son Paddy, a high school senior, joins him on the court which makes it even easier.

In his non-pickleball time, JK is a reporter who writes about housing and real estate development for the SF Chronicle. He has been a staff writer at several other newspapers, and co-wrote a book about San Francisco’s legacy bars titled High Spirits, which walks readers through his favorite neighborhood pub crawl nightspots.

Like all of us in the Pickleball community, JK agrees there aren’t enough courts in the City.  When asked, he can point to a few relatively unused tennis courts, though he quickly adds, “that’s an issue Rec & Parks need to address.”  Spoken like a true reporter.

- Judy Goddess