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2013 IBMA Bowlers of the Year
JOHNSON, BELMONTE SELECTED AS 2013 IBMA BOWLERS OF THE YEAR
ARLINGTON, Texas – Wins in major events propelled Liz Johnson and Jason Belmonte to major accolades as they were selected 2013 Bowlers of the Year by the International Bowling Media Association. Johnson, a 40-year-old right-hander from Cheektowaga,N.Y., captured the top spot in the women's voting in large part because of her victory in the U.S. Women's Open. Belmonte, a two-handed thrower from Australia, led the men's voting thanks to winning the United States Bowling Congress Masters. Accomplished achieved during calendar-year 2013 were considered by the worldwide panel of voters.
In addition to her U.S. Open victory, Johnson placed second in team event, third in Masters, sixth in doubles, 14th in all-events,and 33rd in singles in the World Tenpin World Championships. She also finished third in the International Bowling Championships and World Bowling Tour finals, and tied for 17th in the USBC Queens. She collected 144 points, including 24 first-place votes. Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., was next with 70 points followed by Shannon O'Keefe with 47, Diana Zavjalova with 22 and Missy Parkin with 15. “I am both overwhelmed and honored that IBMA chose me as the 2013 female bowler of the year,” Johnson said. “As our sport continues to expand globally it is really a special award because now we are competing with all the talented girls internationally."
Belmonte, the 30-year-old two-handed Australian who also was named PBA Player of the Year for 2012-13, easily led the men's voting with 205 points including 39 first-place votes. Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., was a distant second with 69 points, Wes Malott 41, Sean Rash 34, and Mika Koivuniemi 17. "I am incredibly honored to win such a prestigious award,” Belmonte said. “Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. It certainly means so much to me to be named Bowler of the Year and I will display the award proudly." Besides his USBC victory, Belmonte also captured the Australian Masters. He placed second in the Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions, World Championship, and U.S. Open, third in the Bowlers Journal Scorpion Championship, fourth in the Summer Swing GEICO King of the Swing special event, and fourth in the WSOB V Viper Championship.. He led the PBA in earnings with $135,679 and in average at 223.70. Johnson and Belmonte will be honored June 24 during the IBMA Convention as part of International Bowl Expo in Orlando.
Bowl O Pinion - April 2014 by Jim Goodwin
Dee Miller will be missed
Just before leaving for the coaching conference, we learned that Dee Miller, mother of PBA and PWBA Champions Mike Miller and Dana Miller-Mackie, had passed away in New Mexico. Dee was a top bowler in her day, and one of four professional bowlers in the famous Miller family from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her husband Gary (Gub) Miller was a PBA member who bowled in regionals and in the early days of the PBA Senior Tour. Aside from that, the former Albuquerque Deputy Sherriff is one of the nicest gentlemen on the planet. Our hearts go outto him in his sorrow.
My guess is that everyone in the family learned their manners from Dee. We first met her when Dana was a very young bowler who decided to move from her home in New Mexico to the big city of Dallas where she could find some serious competition. She found it, and it was not long before she became a women’s tour star.
Dee laid the groundwork; not only for the bowling side for Dana and Mike, but for the very important lessons of how to conduct themselves as professionals and how to treat their peers and the fans. It was no surprise when Dana won the “Robby Award” for sportsmanship on the women’s tour.
In the 1969 PWBA Tour Program, we found Deloris B. Miller listed as the best bowler form New Mexico. Her stat listing said she was married, had three children, (Dana, Mike and Mark) and that she held the highest average in New Mexico – a whopping 184. While that number may not seem very impressive today, it was good enough to give her the confidence to bowl in a few big events. She won the 1967 Rio Grande Queens, and in ’69 she took the El Paso Doubles and All Events titles and the NM State Team crown.
The ’75 program listed her as 5’- 8”tall and 135 pounds. (Try to find those types of stats today) It also said her average had climbed to 193 and that her high game and series soared from 268/657 to 279/743. There was also some cash by her name, meaning that she took home a few checks as a pro. My favorite ‘Miller moment’ is one that really showed Dee’s competitive spirit. In the 1984 LPBT New Mexico Open Regional event, Dee was the event leader going into the final position round game. At the time, she was 51 years old, and had it not been for a young hot shot she would have won the title. . . The winner? - her daughter Dana. We will never forget the moment when it was over. Dana and Dee embraced, and Dana said “Sorry Mom” – and Dee replied, “It’s okay honey.”
For CJ and I, Dee was simply a person we cherished as a genuine and sincere friend – when she said, “I love you” she really meant it; and she said it to almost everyone, especially Dana and Mike’s friends on tour. When we did a story about Dana and Mike in the very first issue of Stars & Strikes, she was so proud. And even more when both went on to win major pro titles.
And that love and support extended to the next generation of great Miller bowlers. When the NCAA Women’s Championship started in Houston,she was there every minute cheering on granddaughter Adrienne and her University of Nebraska mates to a College National Championship. Adrienne’s post on Facebook alongside Dana’s is a beautiful tribute to Dee.
After the PWBA stopped running in 2003, every time we talked to Dee, she always said, “If I ever win the lottery, we are going to start a new women’s tour and you are going to run it.” Not many people know, but she played a role in helping the former LPBT get a huge sponsorship deal with Sam’s Town in Las Vegas; a deal that gave the women the tour they deserved for many years.
Dee and Gary were also involved in building a successful center with Mike, Dana and son-in-law Steve Mackie. For years, they ran the proshop at their very family friendly Ten Pins & More center; and Dee spent alot of time on the lanes giving lessons.
Dee loved bowling, but more than that she loved God, family and friends . . . and there is no doubt that the love she gave will be remembered by everyone she knew for as long as we all live.
Kegel Bowler of the Month
LARSEN CLAIMS MARCH BOWLER OF THE MONTH
ARLINGTON,Texas – Thomas Larsen, Denmark, has been chosen as the March 2014 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the International Bowling Media Association. Larsen defeated Dom Barrett, England, 208-205, to win the World Bowling Tour 11th Kuwait International Open. This marks Larsen's second WBT/PBA title. The stepladder finals began with Stuart Williams, England, defeating two of the PBA's biggest stars. Sean Rash, Montgomery, Illinois, was the first to be dispatched, 256-200. Reigning PBA Player of the Year, Jason Belmonte, Australia, fell in the quarterfinal, 178-148. Barrett then downed Williams in the semifinal, 243-202, setting up the final match. Tournament rules stated the top-seeded Larsen had to be defeated twice for Barrett claim the title. The Danish bowler qualified fifth, averaging over 235, then dropped to 11th in match play before rebounding to the top seed in the stepladder finals. Larsen won his first WBT/PBA title, the WBT 1st Abu Dhabi Open in December 2013. His other top finishes were in the 2012 PBA World Series of Bowling, a 16th place finish in the Bowlers Journal PBA Scorpion Championship and a 24th place finish in the PBA World Championship.
Others obtaining votes this month were Marshall Kent, winner,WBT/EBT 11th Brunswick Euro Challenge; Shannon O'Keefe, winner, women's stepladder final, 11th Kuwait International Open; Mai Ginge Jensen and Pasi Uotila, winners of women's and men's divisions of the 7th European Bowling Tour Masters.
2014 IMBA Luby Hall of Fame Award
HERO NODA NAMED 2014 LUBY HALL OF FAME RECIPIENT
BY INTERNATIONAL BOWLING MEDIA ASSOCIATION
ARLINGTON, Texas - The International Bowling Media Association (IBMA) announced Hero Noda, Ibaraki, Japan, as their 2014 recipient of the Luby Hall of Fame Award. The award is presented annually by the IBMA "to an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to print, broadcast, telecast or photographic coverage of bowling over an extended period of years."
Mr. Noda is best known as a "volunteer fixture" at International Bowl Expo and the mid-winter Bowling Summit where he takes thousands of photographs of the events as well as of many international tournaments. A proprietor himself, Mr. Noda's photo journalistic work has been seen in publications and on websites all over the world as well as on display on many walls and desks in homes and offices of industry partners. He generously shares his photos with a number of international publications and is a great ambassador not only for bowling, but also in chronicling bowling's continuing history. "I can think of no better individual who fits the criteria for this award than Mr. Noda," said Joan Romeo, president of the IBMA. "For many, many years he has given hundreds of hours of his time to record the history of bowling on an international scale. He is certainly most deserving of this honor."
In 2013, Noda was recognized by the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) with its V.A. Wapensky award "presented to an individual who has made a major contribution to the advancement of the bowling industry. The award is named after long-time BPAA Executive Director, V.A. 'Chief' Wapensky." Noda will be recognized during the special awards luncheon at International Bowl Expo, Tuesday, June 24, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida.
IBMA TO HONOR LEE EVANS WITH ALBERTA E. CROWE
MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD
ARLINGTON, Texas - The man whose dream over 50 years ago has resulted in a tournament involving many nations that has lasted for over 50 years is the recipient of this year's International Bowling Media Association of America Alberta E. Crowe Meritorious Service Award. Lee Evans, the late non-bowling pioneer, dreamer, and risk-taker who founded the Tournament of The Americas, is being honored for his outstanding long-term accomplishments in and for the sport of bowling. When his tournament began in 1963, there were many industry skeptics since there was no similar annual international tournament that brought bowlers of the Americas together to represent their countries before he conceived the idea and traveled from country to country (1960-63) to make it a reality.
In 1963, the American Bowling Congress (ABC) and the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) each sent only one bowler. When other countries wanted a "2-2" team format for the 1964 tournament, he persuaded Florida's ABC and WIBC associations to send its state all-events champions to field a U.S. foursome. Today, approximately 150 bowlers representing 15 nations send teams annually to compete in junior, adult, senior, and super senior divisions. Many U.S. bowlers, including Les Zikes, Sue Reichley, Eddie Jackson, Lorrie Nichols, Bob Hart, Joan Holm, Rod Toft, Rick Steelsmith, Gordon Vadakin, Chris & Linda (Norry) Barnes, Diandra (Hyman) Asbaty, Jeremy Sonnenfeld, and Kelly Kulick, got their international starts and became acclaimed stars in this tournament.
The event, which will celebrate its 52nd anniversary this July in Sunrise,Fla., was renamed the "Lee Evans Tournament of The Americas" after the founder's death of cancer at age 53. Beyond his own tournament, Evans convinced the City of Miami to come up with $25,000 needed by the local ABC associations to secure the 1967 ABC Tournament. He also was responsible for obtaining money for the local WIBC associations to land the 1978 WIBC Tournament.
The award will be presented at a special awards luncheon Tuesday, June 24, during International Bowl Expo at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.
Support Chuck Pezzano Scholarship
One thing I know about bowlers is that we love to eat and we cook! I worked on this cookbook for two years and finally have it published – over 100 pages of tried and true recipes that my family and friends used and loved for years.
I am selling the cookbook to benefit the IBMA 2014 Chuck Pezzano scholarship fund.
Postage is expensive so I am asking you to pre-pay and pick up at the USBC Convention in Reno. I will have your personalized book in the exhibit area. Price is $20 and if you want a book mailed please add $7.50 for postage. More than one add $2.00.
Please join me in this fundraising effort for a worthy project in honor of one of Bowling’s most noted journalists– Chuck Pezzano.
Mail to: Mary Lynly, 403 Larkstone Court, Roseville, CA 95661
Steve James Named 2014 IBMA Mike Hennessy Award of Merit Recipient
ARLINGTON, Texas - The International Bowling Media Association has announced that Steve James has been named as the IBMA Mike Hennessy Award of Merit recipient for 2014. James, of Fox Point, Wis., devoted his career to promoting the sport and those who competed in it through several positions in the bowling industry over a career that spanned nearly four decades, highlighted by induction to the ABC Hall of Fame in 2005.
He joined the American Bowling Congress in 1970 as Bowling Magazine editor. That followed 10 years as a sportswriter for two newspapers where he won several national writing awards for bowling. He moved up through the ABC ranks to eventually become the organization's public relations manager where he supervised all aspects of ABC communications and worked in support of bowling writers’ organizations. As ABC Group Executive-Communications he was responsible for hosting the annual bowling writers Press Party on behalf of the organization that was held during ABC Convention Week. Under the Bowling Magazine banner, the awards presented at that function honored excellence in bowling journalism.
James, a BWAA Mort Luby Sr. Distinguished Service Award winner and IBMA life member, served as BWAA President in 1993 and Executive Director from 2001 through 2006. He served as the ABC Hall of Fame Executive Director from 1977-2002,playing a key role in developing the non-professional and pioneer divisions to honor those who elected not to compete as professionals and/or played historic roles in the formation of ABC. His expertise with the ABC Hall of Fame provedvaluable to other bowling organizations. Serving on the PBA and PWBA Halls ofFame boards he was asked to re-write their constitutions and consult on theirnomination and election procedures.
“Mike Hennessy was one of my closest friends and certainly oneof the most hilarious story-tellers of all-time,” James said. “To receive an award named for Mike is anhonor only surpassed by my election to the ABC Hall of Fame. Not many days goby that I don't think of Mike. I am deeply appreciative of this recognition.” In the international arena, James served as Deputy Secretary General of FIQ, bowling's world governing organization, and he served as a consultant and advisor for many international awards.
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