New ONIX Team member, Derek Willis began playing pickleball in early 2018. Derek is from Winslow, Indiana. He played tennis in high school and moved on to also play in the college level at Oakland City University. A friend of his and a previous doubles partner in tennis asked him to play as he had heard of the sport. They met up at the Evansville Tennis Center one day and were hooked on pickleball from then on. He has since then, started playing a mixture of 5.0 and Pro events based on what the events are and who he can grab for a partner. His goal is to find a partner to play pro level events full time in the future. Derek says that “ONIX has been my preferred paddle and gear choice for several years now. I truly believe the paddle provides a more consistent “feel” for the soft drop shots and dinks and more “pop” or power on the hard shots. In my opinion they no doubt have the best feel of any paddles I’ve used.” Outside of pickleball, he enjoys tennis, basketball, playing golf with his wife and kids, and outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and ATV riding.
- In 2021, Derek was ranked as high as 8th in the APP 5.0 19+ division.