PBA Spare Shots: Jesper Svensson Named Sweden’s “Rookie Sportsman of the Year”
by bvint | Friday, January 20, 11:54 AM
A year after earning PBA Rookie of the Year honors, Sweden’s Jesper Svensson received one of his home country’s most prestigious awards when he was recognized as Sweden’s Rookie Sportsman of the Year at the annual Swedish Sports Gala.
Sharing the stage with Olympic gold medal winners from other sports, the 21-year-old two-handed player took center stage during a live nationally-televised black-tie gala to accept the award in front of millions of television viewers. After winning three of his five career PBA titles in 2016, including the 51st PBA FireLake Tournament of Champions, Svensson was chosen by a jury from the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet over football (soccer) player Victor Nilsson Lindelöf, world champion Thai-boxer Patricia Axling and talented skier Ebba Andersson.
The award is presented to a young and upcoming athlete. According to Swedish Bowling Federation reporter Markus Hegnelius, it marked the first time a bowler has received an award at the biggest stage of Swedish sports, bringing tenpin bowling onto the front pages of the newspapers.
FORMER PBA PLAYER OF THE YEAR DAVID OZIO ELECTED TO USBC HALL OF FAME
Eleven-time PBA Tour champion and 1991 PBA Player of the Year David Ozio of Beaumont, Texas, has been elected to the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in the Superior Performance category. He will be inducted, along with one-time PBA Tour titlist Mike Shady of Fairview, Pa., during the USBC Convention on April 26 in Las Vegas.
Ozio, 62, was a 1995 inductee into the PBA Hall of Fame. Among his titles was the 1991 Firestone PBA Tournament of Champions. Throughout his career, Ozio was considered the prototype stylist based on his technically-flawless delivery. He also had a brief but successful career on the PBA50 Tour, winning two titles including the 2004 Senior U.S. Open and PBA50 Rookie of the Year honors that same year. In 2009, Ozio was recognized as the 34th best player on the list of the 50 greatest players in PBA history.
"When you spend your whole life practicing, bowling 200 games a week and living in bowling centers, recognition like this means a lot," Ozio said. "After all these years, I wondered if it was going to happen, and if it did, it would be great. It was a welcomed phone call and a sigh of relief."
Other PBA stars on USBC’s performance ballot who fell short of the 70 percent majority required for election were Dave Ferraro of Kingston, N.Y.; Mark Williams of Beaumont, Texas; Randy Pedersen of Clermont, Fla.; Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas; and Danny Wiseman of Baltimore.
CLEMMER, ZIMMERMAN TO FACE OFF IN TEEN MASTERS GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP
Two of the countries standout youth bowlers will experience the thrill of competing on one of bowling’s grandest stages when Breanna Clemmer of Clover, S.C., and Adam Zimmerman of Deer Park, N.Y., compete for the Teen Masters Grand Championship presented by Ebonite Sunday on ESPNU at 5 p.m. ET.
Both players earned their trips to the Grand Championship by winning the Teen Masters boys and girls championships last summer in Tamarac, Fla., which were live-streamed on Xtra Frame. The Grand Championship finals, involving a best-of-two-game match between the boys’ and girls’ champions, were held during GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII in Reno. If necessary, a one-ball sudden death roll-off will decide the outcome.
QUBICA AMF PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: RHINO PAGE TO HOST CCFA SOUTH OPEN
For eight years, four-time PBA Tour titlist Rhino Page has worked with the Thomas Cacioppo family in New York, staging fund-raising bowling events that have raised more than $225,000 to help fight Crohns and Colitis. In March, Page is expanding the effort by hosting the PBA Strike Out Crohns and Colitis South Open at Boardwalk Bowl in his adopted hometown, Orlando, Fla. The PBA South Region tournament will take place over the March 24-26 weekend.
● QubicaAMF PBA Regional competition in 2017 gets underway over the Jan. 20-22 weekend at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas with the South Point West Challenge for non-champions, and the South Point member/non-member doubles, both presented by Track. The PBA Central Region also returns to action with the PBA/PBA50 Don Vay Memorial Central Doubles Classic at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
● The Jan. 27-29 weekend includes the PBA and PBA50 Sands Regency West/Northwest Winter Classic doubleheader presented by Storm at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. The weekend also will include a Sands Regency West/Northwest Winter Challenge event for non-champions.
● For complete QubicaAMF PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information heading into the new year, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on QubicaAMF Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area. For more information about QubicaAMF, visit www.qubicaamf.com or, for social media posts, visit http://bit.ly/QAMFSponsorship1.