Following Wednesday’s announcement of sports icon Billie Jean King as the seventh and first woman owner of a Professional Bowlers Association League team, the PBA unveiled team logos for seven of the eight teams that will be part of the historic professional bowling league when it makes its debut Jan. 19-27 in suburban Detroit.
The seven celebrity owners and their team names are: Jerome Bettis (Motown Muscle); Chris Paul (L.A. X); Terrell Owens (Dallas Strikers); Chris Hardwick (Silver Lake Atom Splitters); Billie Jean King (New York City WTT KingPins); LaMarr Woodley (Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits), and Kevin Hart (Philadelphia Hitmen). The final PBA League team and its logo will be announced later.
The PBA League will begin competition during the PBA Detroit Winter Swing Jan. 19-27 at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich. The first round of the PBA League will be telecast live on ESPN Sunday, Jan. 27 at noon ET. Four additional preliminary rounds will be taped during the Winter Swing to air on ESPN on Sunday Feb. 10, Feb. 17, March 3 and March 24.
"The team owners were intimately involved with naming their teams, distinguishing their home location and designing their logos and team jerseys," said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. "When these teams of professional bowlers take to the lanes with their custom Gemini jerseys they will be reflective of their superstar owners."
Clark said each chose home locations that were important to them, such as Hart and Bettis' hometowns of Philadephia and Detroit (Motown) respectively, and LaMarr Woodley's more recent affiliation with Pittsburgh where his Steelers play.
"Chris Paul made his final decision on his team's logo design just a few minutes after leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a win over the Milwaukee Bucks right at the Bradley Center," Clark said. "Billie Jean King was calling in thoughts while on her way to a Christmas party at the White House, and Chris Hardwick took the logo designs to his massive legion of fans on Twitter for their unique opinions."
Terrell Owens' logo includes "TO" for his famous nickname, Hart's includes red hearts, Bettis has his signature Bus 36 on the hood of a muscle car and King made sure the pro tennis league she founded 'WTT' was represented in her team name.
The top four teams after the five preliminary rounds will advance to the PBA League Elias Cup Finals, named after PBA founder Eddie Elias, which will be contested at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis on Sunday, March 31 for telecast on Sunday, April 7 at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN. All preliminary qualifying rounds and match play will be live streamed on xtraframe.tv, the PBA's official video service.
Fans can stay tuned to pbastore.com for information on opportunities to buy PBA League team-specific merchandise.