Born: South Dakota
Movie: Pitch Perfect
Music: Pop and country
Bella Nelson is a 17-year-old fireball. She was born in Rapid City, South Dakota and moved down to Florida when she was just 5 years old. Bella’s mother, Fernanda “Fay” Nelson was a professional volleyball player for the national team in Brazil and Bella’s father was involved with college sports. So, Bella comes from a very high energy, athletic, and competitive family which has given her an undeniable spirit and passion for sports. For the past 7 years, she has played competitive club volleyball including 2 years varsity for her school Saint John Paul II. Bella was the captain of her team, traveling a lot, and it appeared she was on a clear path to play collegiate volleyball. Then just over a year ago, as the pandemic was slowing down, Bella’s parents started playing pickleball at El Rio Park near their house. One day they took her to play, and Bella’s life changed at that very moment.
Bella had never even heard of pickleball, and at first, many people were hesitant to play with a young beginner. But the more she played, the better she got, and soon the people at the park took notice. Bella caught the bug and her athleticism and competitive nature took over from there. She found the Delray Beach Tennis center, began training multiple times a week, and created quite a name for herself. It was when Bella realized she was also making lifelong friends, that she knew pickleball would play a major role in her professional sports career. “My life completely changed for the better in such a unique way,” says Bella. “I fell in love with the pickleball community and became known for being a very loud and competitive player. I couldn’t imagine my life without it today.”
Being someone who is very involved in her pickleball community, and with many opportunities, Bella was very selective in her search for the right sponsor who shared the same values. “Out of all the paddle companies that showed interest in me, Phantom stuck out the most” explains Bella. “They value and represent the community so well and I knew I wanted to be part of a local company that cares for their players and their success.” We were flattered when Bella told us that she thought we would be the “perfect family” to support her on her journey to pro. “I love their paddles because of the accuracy, amazing touch, and great spin. I’m so excited to see where my journey with Team Phantom takes me.” Bella lights up every room she enters, and it is our absolute pleasure to be part of her story.