Deemed most sportsmanlike by his fellow PBA Tour competitors


New York, N.Y.—PBA Tour champion Jake Peters of Henderson, Nev. was named by his peers to receive the 2021 PBA Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award. Peters was the only nominee for the award, which receives nominations from and is voted on exclusively by national touring PBA Tour professionals.

“It’s incredibly shocking,” said Peters. “I was not expecting this whatsoever. The honor of being chosen by my peers is really awesome and having my name attached to this award is a true honor. It’s unbelievable to find out I was the only nominee. It’s really humbling to be recognized and supported by the players like this.”

Peters, who has always been well liked by his fellow competitors, maintained his positive disposition this year despite suffering tremendous personal tragedy.

In late May, Peters lost his wife, Melissa, who had been fighting an aggressive form of breast cancer called HER2-positive. Peters was overwhelmed with the support of the bowling community throughout the entire battle and is further astounded by receiving the Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award from his fellow competitors.

“It makes me feel even more grateful for how amazing our community is,” said Peters. “The players have been absolutely supportive through everything my family and I went through and I’m so humbled to be accepted and appreciated by them. I still look at myself as a we and Mel is just as big a part of my career as I am. I know she’s up there telling me, ‘You’re welcome.’”

Peters competed in 11 events during the 2021 season, most notably finishing second in the PBA Lubbock Sports Open in July in his return to the PBA Tour. He plans to resume full-time competition in 2022.

“I feel really good,” he said. “I’m focusing all my time and energy on being ready and hoping 2022 is my best season yet.”

First presented in 1966, the PBA’s sportsmanship award honors Steve Nagy, a PBA Hall of Famer and founding member who was instrumental to the success of the PBA Tour in its early years.

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Previous Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award Winners

2020 – Brad Miller
2019 – Martin Larsen
2018 – Tom Smallwood
2017 – Chris Loschetter
2016 – Tom Smallwood
2015 – Josh Blanchard
2014 – Brett Spangler
2013 – Ryan Shafer
2012 – Martin Larsen
2011 – Jack Jurek

View the complete list of Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winners dating back to 1966

About the PBA

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated to the sport of bowling and its professional competition, with thousands of members and millions of fans throughout the world. The PBA plays host to bowling’s biggest tournaments from the PBA Tour, PBA Regional Tour, and PBA50 Tour. In 2020, the PBA launched PBA Jr., a club for elite youth bowlers under the age of 17 and the PBA Pinsiders, a membership for fans of the sport. For more information, please visit

For Press Inquires

Jill Laufer
PBA Public Relations
[email protected]