Rafa Hewett

In late June 2019, Rafa Hewett of Lewiston received a pickleball paddle as a 25th-birthday present from his grandmother.

“That was the first time I picked up a paddle and gave it a go a couple times,” Hewett said. “Didn’t even know the rules or anything.”

Neither did he know that in six months, he would be in Port Gunta, Fla., competing in the final eight of the inaugural World Pickleball Championship