On April 6, a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica, Wharton faced off against seven other schools - Berkeley, Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Kellogg, MIT, and Stanford - with 25 total teams competing in the first ever MBA SoCal Pickleball Championship.

After tough fought single-elimination matches, Wharton secured three of the four spots in the semi-finals with HBS rounding out the stage. Following HBS's elimination, it came down to Wharton vs. Wharton for the championship title and the rest is history as Wharton became the first winner of the inaugural MBA SoCal Pickleball Championship, taking home the gold and silver medals!!!

WATCH an exciting Championship game video clip!

In the beginner bracket, a Wharton team comprised of Joe Wirija WG22 and Justin Chen WG23 also advanced to the finals and lost a hard-fought match with HBS to take home a well-deserved silver.

A big thank you to Wharton alum Leanne Huebner for taking on the monumental task of not only organizing every aspect of the event including venue, prizes, food/drinks, personally donating the cost of the event, and everything else, but also raising over $33,000 for charity Minds Matter, helping low-income students prepare for success!!! The first of many to come, Saturday was a historic event that will certainly become a storied tradition from here on out.

It was an amazing day with over 70 b-school alumni playing and socializing on a gorgeous Santa Monica afternoon. If we missed you on Saturday, we hope that you attend the next WSC event!!!

Gold and Silver Medal Teams

Gold: Cliff Lyon WG94 and Julian Scott WG21

Silver: Viswa Maramreddy WG20 and Erik Roberts WG20

Cliff Lyon WG94

Cliff: “I had such a fun time hanging out with fellow SoCal-based MBA alumni and enjoying an awesome day of pickleball! Everyone was very upbeat and friendly, the competition was fierce and the event was well organized. This was my first Wharton MBA alumni event and I’ll definitely participate in more of these gatherings in the future. Thank you to Wayne and Leanne for planning this event and to my pickleball partner, Julian, who always made the key shots at the right time!” 

Bio: Cliff recently retired from Avante Capital Partners, a private credit and structured equity fund, where he was CFO and Administrative Partner for the past 15 years.  He’s an inactive California CPA and worked previously as the CFO of Celerity Partners, a lower middle market private equity fund, Deloitte, and Disney.  He’s married with two adult children. Cliff’s an avid sports fan and enjoys playing softball, pickleball, golf and skiing.

Julian Scott WG21

Julian: “Great turnout and a beautiful day playing with LA MBAs. Always a wonderful time getting to participate in some friendly competition with our impressive alumni. Huge shoutout to Wayne for organizing, my partner Cliff, and Viswa+Erik for a Wharton-on-Wharton final!”

Bio: Julian is an Engagement Manager at McKinsey focused on climatetech & PE topics. Originally from Topanga Canyon, he spent 10 years in Boston and Philadelphia before returning to LA, where he gave up rugby for pickleball, golf, and skiing.

Wharton Beginner Bracket Silver Medal Winners

Justin Chen WG23 and Joe Wirija WG22



Leanne: "Thanks everyone for coming out to make our first annual MBA Pickleball event so special!  We are super excited to arrange more events throughout the year and keep building connections amongst Southern California's MBA alumni communities. Thank you for supporting Minds Matter's important mentoring work with low-income students toward life and college success." 

Bio: Leanne Huebner is one of the leaders of the MBA Collective of SoCal and the Founder of Minds Matter, one of the nation's pioneering and largest college success nonprofits. A social entrepreneur at heart, her devotion to helping others has been recognized by the California State Assembly, Points of Light, L'Oreal, and Tri Delta National.   She is a graduate of both Wharton and Harvard Business School, please reach out to her if you would like to donate or volunteer with any of the worthy nonprofits she works with!  


Wayne: "So great to meet new friends and get together with so many talented, fun people... felt like the best part of school all over again!"

Bio: Wayne is the Vice President of Corporate Development for NANO Nuclear Energy, a micro nuclear reactor, clean energy technology company with additional vertically integrated business lines in the nuclear supply chain with an expected NASDAQ IPO in Q2 2024.

He serves on the leadership team of Wharton SoCal as well as the new Wharton sustainability initiative WECAN (the Wharton Environment and Climate Action Network at www.whartonecan.org) and loves connecting with any and all alum, please feel free to reach out about the environment, nuclear energy, ideas for Wharton SoCal events or any other thoughts!




Minds Matter is an award-winning national educational non-profit that connects driven and determined students from low income backgrounds to the people, possibilities, and preparation to succeed in college, create their futures, and change the world.  Our volunteer-driven team has been serving students in Southern California since 2010.



Selkirk Sport Pickleball

J. Pritchard Pickleball Couture

The Alfred Mann Charities

The Reach Higher Foundation

Wharton Club of Southern California