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Meet the Owners

Austin Ignite is owned by Steven Ungar, Scott Trevethan, Dike Ajiri, and Shona Kerr, and is the first NPL team based in Texas. The NPL was founded in 2022 by Champions Pro players Rick Witsken, Beth Bellamy, Michael “Hammer Mike” Chen, and Tom DeCaprio, and is a nationwide team competition for Champions Division (50+) professional pickleball players. 

The league’s mission is to promote the sport of pickleball and provide a platform for the world’s top Champions Pro players to compete in a team format at the highest level. The league held a player draft on April 14 in Naples, FL, and the regular season weekends will take place from June to September, culminating in a season-ending championship in Glendale, Arizona, where the championship title and $100,000 in prize money will be on the line. All events in 2023 will be held at Chicken N Pickle’s state-of-the-art indoor facilities across the country. The league is committed to promoting the growth of the sport and showcasing the athleticism, skill, and excitement of pickleball. 

Steven Ungar

With nearly 50 years of experience as an investor, I have successfully started and sustained dozens of businesses and real estate ventures. Over the years, my investment portfolio has grown to include a diverse collection of companies, ranging from internet service technology to real estate development. Notably, I co-founded Anji Microelectronics, LTD, based in Shanghai, China, and served as its CFO for a decade. The company went public on the Shanghai Star Exchange in 2019, and I now sit on its Board of Directors, providing operational and financial performance advisory services. Currently, I am the Founder and CEO of Ungar Holdings, LLC, and Regional Holdings, Inc. – two privately owned real estate investment entities located in Austin, TX.

I am an avid pickleball player, and I recently became an owner of Austin Ignite. I am passionate about fostering strong relationships, promoting physical health, and expanding this exciting sport. Moreover, I hope to inspire more seniors to get involved and experience the thrill of competitive pickleball.

Scott Trevethan

Scott Trevethan was born, raised, and lives in CT, and has been a decorated financial advisor for the past 30 years. His oldest son works for him and it is his dream to have him and his brother take over someday.

Scott has been involved in sports his entire life, including hockey, baseball, golf, and a brief stint on the mini-pro tennis tour after playing Division 1 tennis.

Since 2021, his focus has been on becoming an elite Pro pickleball player.

He spent most of the last 20 years coaching his the three children (Matt 27, Hockey; Stephanie 25, Soccer; Jon 21, Tennis) and has incredible memories from this time.

In 2022, Scott was named to the Berlin High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

 

 

Shona Kerr

Shona Kerr

Shona Kerr is a renowned squash coach and former professional player with a wealth of experience in the sport. She presented at the World Squash Federation coaching conference in Egypt on optimal coaching for female athletes, and has competed internationally in locations ranging from Malaysia and Sweden to Holland and the UK.

Originally from south London, Kerr worked with world number 2, Hiddy Jahan, as her coach and represented England in squash before becoming a professional. She has been ranked number 1 in her age group in the USA within the last year. She also represented the USA in Racketlon (the decathlon of racket sports – table tennis, badminton, squash and tennis) at the 2018 world championships and was instrumental in forming the USA Racketlon governing body, putting together the first-ever USA team to compete in the world championships in Bulgaria.

Currently, she serves as the head coach of both men’s and women’s squash  and professor of physical education at Wesleyan University, CT, where she has held this role for 18 seasons. As the all-time winningest coach for both men’s and women’s squash teams in Wesleyan’s history, Kerr has been recognized as the NESCAC Men’s Squash Coach of the Year twice.

Kerr owned and ran the “World Class Squash” summer camps, which featured world number 1 squash players as coaches, including John White, David Palmer, Gregory Gaultier, and Amr Shabana. These camps are now organized in conjunction with “Squash Revolution.”

Kerr served as President of the women’s college squash association for three years, and Vice President for three years prior. During her tenure, she oversaw the governance and organization of women’s college squash association, including the execution of national championships, maintaining and updating bylaws, accounts, sponsorship, appeals, awards and annual general meetings of coaches. She also worked alongside the men’s President, Bob Callahan, to revamp college squash from its structure to its media presence.

In addition to her passion for racket sports, Kerr is an avid musician who has played bassoon as part of the Basukes duo, keyboards, sax, and vocals as part of the 80’s band, The Reanimators, and has been seen in numerous parades playing bagpipes with the Middletown PBA Pipes and Drums.

Now she plays pickleball and is committed to becoming the best player she can be, with hopes of being drafted to an NPL team when she turns 50.

Dike Ajiri

Dike Ajiri is an American serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and professional pickleball player.[1] He is the owner of many businesses, including JunkMan, a Las Vegas Junk Removal company. A few of his other companies include Prime Pest Control and Rooftek of Iowa.

Ajiri has turned around several struggling firms into thriving organizations throughout the course of his career and has a penchant for uncovering hidden jewels of businesses in underperforming niche industries. Ajiri is ranked in the top ten in the world for Professional Men’s Senior Singles Pickleball, and he competes in events all over the country.