May 3, 2006 – It was all about the fun at the first “Bowling With The Stars”
Some of Hollywood’s top young stars along with three of bowling’s top woman players put their “game face” on for “Bowling With The Stars” charity event in Los Angeles.
With wildly popular television shows such as “Skating With Celebrities” and “Dancing With The Stars,” can a similar formula work for bowling?
If the recent “Bowling With The Stars” charity event conducted Monday evening at Corbin Bowl in Tarzana, Calif., was any indication, why not?
Some of Hollywood’s most popular young television and movie stars, along with three of bowling’s top women players, teamed up in a Baker format competition that benefited the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, a United States Bowling Congress charity partner.
Former Professional Women’s Bowling Association stars competing were Kim Terrell and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, along with amateur standout Diandra Asbaty. All will be contenders for the 2006 USBC Queens title-the only major event in women’s bowling–which will be conducted June 17-21 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
Fans were able to attend the “Bowling With The Stars” event by making a $10 donation to Bowl For The Cure®. All proceeds benefited the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
The event consisted of three teams, each made up of four bowlers (one woman pro and three stars per team), named after three major USBC bowling programs:
Team USBC Youth
Captain: Diandra Asbaty. Asbaty is the official spokesperson for USBC Youth bowling. She is the reigning women’s U.S. Amateur champion and an eight-time member of Team USA.
Tequan Richmond – 13, who stars as “Drew” in the acclaimed Chris Rock show “Everybody Hates Chris.” Richmond also played Ray Charles Jr. in the Oscar winning film “Ray.”
Chloe Suazo – 14, who stars as “Zoey” on ABC’s sitcom “Freddie,” featuring Freddie Prinze Jr.
Michael Alan Johnson – 15, who hosts The Disney Channel’s “Mike’s Super-Short Show.”
Team USBC High School
Captain: Carolyn Dorin-Ballard. Dorin-Ballard is the official spokesperson for USBC High School bowling. She is a 20-time PWBA titlist and won the 2001 Queens tournament.
Max Prado – 14, who recently appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, plays “Nelson” in the hit film “The Benchwarmers,” starring David Spade, Jon Lovitz and Rob Schneider.
Shelbie Bruce – 13, who starred alongside Adam Sandler in the film “Spanglish.”
Alex Solowitz – 26, former star of MTV’s “2Gether,” is starring in the upcoming Bruce Willis and Justin Timberlake movie “Alpha Dog.”
Team USBC Collegiate
Captain: Kim Terrell. Terrell is the official spokesperson for USBC Collegiate bowling. She is a nine-time PWBA champion and won the 2002 Queens tournament.
Alyson Stoner – 12, who starred in the films “Cheaper by the Dozen” 1 and 2 and appears on The Disney Channel’s “Mike’s Super-Short Show.”
Robby Bruce – 11, who has done voice work for several and films including “Stuart Little 3” and “Into the Blue.”
Shawn Parr – Midday host of the nation’s most listened-to country radio station, KZLA 93.9 FM in Los Angeles. Also the voice of the Golden Globes among other major events and stars as an actor in the upcoming film “Lucky You” starring Drew Barrymore and Robert Duvall.
The Baker format required each bowler on the team to alternate frames with the pro woman bowler bowling the second, sixth and 10th frames, respectively. The team with the highest three-game total score was crowned the first “USBC Bowling With the Stars” champion.
Prior to the event each star received a complimentary bowling ball fitted to their specifications from Storm Products, bowling shoes from Etonic and a USBC bowling shirt.
“This is like Christmas,” Shelbie said. “I can’t believe how cool this stuff is.”
For the “Dancing With The Stars” and “Skating With Celebrities” shows, celebrities undergo weeks or sometimes months of training prior to competing. There wasn’t time for a training camp for this event so the celebrity participants had to rely on a 30-minute crash course prior to teaming up with the stars in Baker format competition.
Many of the celebrities went into the event not knowing exactly what to expect, but after some instruction from their professional teammates and encouragement from the crowd, the competition soon turned serious.
“Kim was a great coach,” Alyson said. “The most important thing I learned was to make my spares.”
After guidance from the pros the celebrities were soon learning how to throw effective hooks and developing much improved form. “At first I thought it was best just to throw it down the middle,” Robbie said, “but after learning how to curve it, I could knock down more pins.”
“I definitely gained an appreciation for everything that’s involved,” Michael said. “There was so much I had to learn just about my arm swing.”
As for the final results for the first “Bowling With The Stars” title, it was Dorin-Ballard’s High School team that took home the gold with a 483 three-game total, followed by USBC Collegiate with 453 and USBC Youth with 320.
“They were just great,” Terrell said of her celebrity teammates. “They took it very seriously and wanted to learn and I think they saw some results. They were great students.”
So with the first “Bowling With The Stars” in the books could this be something to build on for the future?
“Judging from the enthusiasm of the participants and fans I think this is something we can do more of,” Asbaty said. “I definitely think there is something we can build on.”
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