NEW ORLEANS, La. – Celebrity A-listers competed on the lanes with professional bowlers for charity last week. Hip-hop giants Lil Wayne and Nelly, along with New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush joined five PBA champions and host Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets for the third annual Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational at Riverboat Lanes on the New Orleans Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base.
The pro/celebrity doubles event, which supports Paul’s charitable CP3 Foundation, will air on ESPN on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. ET, for the third straight year as part of the PBA’s TV schedule.
Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour stars participating were PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Norm Duke, former PBA Rookies of the Year Jason Belmonte and Rhino Page, and former PBA Player of the Year Wes Malott, all members of Storm Products Pro Staff.
The standing-room-only crowd consisted of personnel from all four branches of the military and their families from the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base.
“The Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational has grown to be one of our most anticipated events every year,” said PBA Deputy Commissioner Tom Clark. “Chris and his superstar friends love bowling with our stars and the PBA is proud to partner with the Paul family on behalf of the CP3 Foundation, which continues to brighten kids’ lives.”
In the doubles competition, Weber paired with fellow St. Louis native Nelly, Duke teamed up with Lil Wayne, and Malott and Bush were an imposing pairing. Belmonte and Paul partnered in an effort to defend their title. The teams competed in a stepladder finals for the unique Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational trophy. Page took on the four celebrities in a new “Super Clash” shootout to kick off the festivities.
NBA superstar LeBron James and the PBA’s Jason Couch teamed up to win the inaugural Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational in 2008. Other celebrities who have competed in the event’s history include Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Ludacris, Lamar Woodley, Jack Del Rio and Hines Ward.
Paul founded his CP3 Foundation in 2005 as a tribute to his late grandfather and the Winston-Salem, N.C., community where he grew up and starred at Wake Forest. The foundation has provided funding for activities ranging from a scholarship program to food drives to recreational support programs for underprivileged children in both Winston-Salem and New Orleans.
Paul, an avid bowler who frequently refers to bowling as his “second-favorite sport,” is on his way to another NBA All-Star season. Both Lil Wayne and Nelly are Grammy-award winning artists with new recordings currently at the top of the Billboard charts. Former USC star Bush helped the Saints win their first Super Bowl title earlier in 2010.
“What better way to get ready for the big game on Super Bowl Sunday than watch this spectacular PBA event earlier in the day on ESPN?” Clark said. “Not only are the bowlers and celebrities great personalities, they share a love of the sport of bowling and competition at the highest level.”