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December 8, 2022

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Steve Wong

By Alice Tym

Hometown:  Surprise, Arizona

Age:  44

Marital Status:  Single

Favorite Tournament:  Tommy Wong Memorial Tournament

Signature Shot:  Inside-out forehand slam

Style of Play:  Intense, aggressive, attacking, lots of communication

You were an early president of USA Pickleball. What contribution are you most proud of in your career?

I was one of the founders and the webmaster of the USAPA. I enabled the sport to grow.


What is the best thing in pickleball right now?

Besides playing, I love the social aspect. I love to travel and meet people. I want to see pickleball in all schools. I’m excited to see all the publicity.


What direction would you like to see pickleball take now?

I hope that it stays true to the nature and history of the sport—why it was founded.


What was your sports background before pickleball?

I played all the racket sports, tennis, badminton, and table tennis. My favorite sport before pickleball was basketball. I didn’t play on my school team because I was busy with my studies.


Your teaching skills are well-known. What makes a good pickleball teacher?

A teacher must be encouraging, explain things well, help all levels, not be just a good player but have the aptitude to share knowledge, be a good person and have fun.


Who is the person or persons you most admire?

My parents. They gave me a new world. They came from Cambodia during the Pol Pot regime. They helped me achieve my dream. I am an entrepreneur.


You are ethnic Chinese. Explain how your Asian heritage has influenced your life.

My brother Tommy influenced my life. He had a very charismatic personality. He took time for everyone, and he was my inspiration. He helped everybody out. Then his kidney failed 14 years ago. He had two young kids. I was healthy so I gave him a kidney. Then he passed away eight years ago. We hold the Tommy Wong Memorial Tournament every year in Arizona in his honor.


You founded the Onix brand. How did you come up with the name?

I was at a trade show in China. I was in the IT industry, and I like O and X. I sold the brand to Escalade Sports in 2015.


And now?

I am an entrepreneur. I started Armour Pickleball to carry all things pickleball. I wanted a strong name, and our mission is “To enrich lives through the sport of pickleball.” We are in Goodyear, Arizona, and do a lot of charity work. We help the food bank and the military.


You have three children. What do you see as the role of a father?

Provide, nurture and encourage. I want them to be better than I am. Give wisdom.


If you were one card in the deck, what card would you be?

I would be the king of diamonds, a strong leader. Valuable.


What species of tree are you?

I like the mighty redwoods.


What is your favorite book?

“Catcher in the Rye.” I like Holden Caulfield.


Give me an example of your entrepreneurship.

I created Pickleball Trivia. There are 500 cards and five categories. You can buy it on Amazon. I am always creating something and adding to the game.


What is your motto?

Make every moment count. •

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