Bowling against the pros
Tune in to NBCSN on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. to watch Patchogue resident bowl for $100,000
Patchogue resident and New York City financial analyst Jeremy Milito is currently training to compete in the second pro-am tournament of the Bowlero Elite Series. On Sept. 11 he will face off against bowling professionals for a chance to win a first-place prize of $100,000.
Milito grew up in Holbrook, played on the high school team, graduated from Sachem East in 2011 and went on to play at Stony Brook University as the captain of the team.
During his bowling career he became the 35th person to ever bowl a perfect 900 series, among other titles, like Suffolk County All-Star and two-time All-Long Island.
At that time he had to choose between a professional career in bowling or entering the workforce. He chose a career in finance, but always wondered where bowling would have taken him.
Milito, 26, first took a liking to bowling after a birthday party and began taking the sport seriously in middle school. Both his parents were casual bowlers on adult leagues.
“I just fell in love with bowling and made it my passion,” he said.
He now lives in Patchogue with his girlfriend, who is also a bowler. He watched the first tournament on TV and, on a whim, entered. “I was lucky enough to be one of the eight amateurs chosen,” he said.
On average, Milito said he bowls a 235-240 in league. He practices almost daily and plays in multiple leagues during the week. “Any time I can practice at night after work I fit it into my schedule,” he said of the over-an-hour commute home from work each day.
The day of the tournament, he said he plans to treat it like any other tournament, though the prize and competition is tenfold. “I have never done anything like this — that prize money is pretty life-changing,” he added, saying that he just purchased a home and the money could help provide financial security, however also noting that if he won, it would be wise to take some and invest it.
That day, he said he is most excited to play alongside Norm Duke, professional bowler, and an idol of his. “This is a huge opportunity and I am just really grateful for this chance,” he said. “It’s awesome for someone like me to be able to do this in a sport I have loved for so long.”
In last year’s Bowlero tournament, an amateur player beat out the top pro contenders, taking home the win. This year, Milito is hoping to do the same. But first he must go through four amateurs for a chance at the winning professional in a final game.
Collectively, the pros boast 75 PBA titles and seven PWBA titles, and feature active members of both Team USA and Mexico. Amateurs’ bowling averages are on par with the pros and consist of four members who have bowled a perfect game.
“The Bowlero Elite Series is one of the few televised pro-ams, which creates for a special dynamic energy on the lanes,” said Colie Edison, chief customer officer of Bowlero Corp. and president of the Bowlero Elite Series. “You have the sport’s best professionals facing off against the sport’s best amateurs. There’s nothing like it out there and it’s so exciting to bring this competition to TV.”
Pros include Norm Duke, EJ Tackett, Anthony Simonsen, Jesper Svensson, Bill O’Neill, Stefanie Johnson, Diana Zasvjalova and Sandra Gongora. Amateurs include a high school bowling champ, former U.S. Marine, national bowling champs, a bowling coach, and perfect-game bowlers.
The competition will take place in North Brunswick, N.J. The show will air on NBCSN at 7 p.m. First place prize takes home $100,000; second place takes $65,000.
The third and final tournament will take place on Saturday, Dec. 28 at Bowlero, Jupiter, Fla. Joining the champions will be a mix of pros from the past two events and six new amateurs. All active fall league bowlers are encouraged to apply by visiting bowlero.com/elite-series/sign-up .
HOW IT WORKS
Sixteen players will compete, eight pros and eight amateurs. In the single elimination bracket, amateurs will compete against each other until a final winner is revealed. At the same time, the professionals will go head to head, revealing a pro winner. Then, the winners from both the amateur and professional games will go against each other for a chance at the prize.
BOWLERO ELITE SERIES
The Bowlero Elite Series is a sports property that brings together Bowlero Corp. league bowlers and professional bowlers from across the sport to compete for cash prizes in excess of $1 million. The Bowlero Elite Series is sponsored by Bowlero Corp, the world’s largest owner and operator of bowling centers, with over 300 locations under four distinctive brands: Bowlero, Bowlmor Lanes, AMF, and Brunswick Zone. For more information on Bowlero Corp. and the Bowlero Elite Series, please visit BowleroCorp.com and BowleroEliteSeries.com.
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