Jesse Williams, who stars as Dr. Jackson Avery on the hit ABC series Grey’s Anatomy, will be the eighth and final owner of a Professional Bowlers Association League team in its inaugural 2013 season.
PBA Commissioner Tom Clark announced that Williams, who is also a model and has appeared in a number of movies and television shows, will be the owner of the BROOKLYN STyLES in the PBA League. His team includes franchise player and reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash, PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr., four-time Tour winner Ryan Shafer, Tour titlist Ryan Ciminelli, Jason Sterner and supplemental pick Tom Hess, the 2011 USBC Masters champion.
"I couldn't be more excited to be welcomed into the PBA family with such a great, collaborative opportunity," Williams said. "Here, inside the BROOKLYN STyLES organization, we're eager to further promote the sport, and with the help of our tremendous athletes, bring a championship title to the great Borough of Brooklyn."
ESPN will televise five weeks of PBA League competition beginning with the first round of the PBA League live on ESPN Sunday, Jan. 27 at noon ET. Additional PBA League rounds will be telecast Feb. 10, 17, March 3 and March 24 culminating with the PBA League Elias Cup finals on April 7.
An avid bowler, Williams has competed in NBA star Chris Paul’s PBA League Celebrity All-Stars tournament the last two years and in 2012 won the event’s 'Celebrity Shootout' competition.
"We've really enjoyed getting to know Jesse at the last two Chris Paul PBA events," Clark said. "He has a lot of fun bowling and has a winning entrepreneurial spirit that makes him perfect as an owner in the PBA League. Jesse is a TV heartthrob. He brings a touch of Hollywood to the PBA and a fan base we look forward to introducing to the best in bowling."
Williams completes the list of owners that includes Los Angeles Clippers star guard Chris Paul, former Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Jerome Bettis, former NFL all-pro receiver Terrell Owens, sports icon Billie Jean King, actor/comedian Kevin Hart, comedian and Internet innovator Chris Hardwick, and Pittsburgh Steelers all-pro linebacker LaMarr Woodley. The ESPN-televised PBA League will debut as part of the PBA Detroit Winter Swing Jan. 19-27 at Thunderbowl Lanes in the Detroit suburb of Allen Park, Mich.
"We have a beautifully diverse group of owners for the eight teams in the PBA League," said Clark. "While all eight owners are obviously extremely talented, above all, they are admirable people. They have amazing work ethic, are involved in charitable causes, are among the most fan-friendly celebrities and to top it off have some of the best smiles on the planet. The PBA is proud to be affiliated with this group and inspired by their passionate interest in the PBA."
A native of Chicago and graduate of Temple University, Williams began his professional career teaching American, African and African-American History in low income Philadelphia public charter schools. From there Jesse moved to New York City and, after working at a law firm, began his professional acting career, performing off-Broadway at The Cherry Lane Theatre, under the direction of award-winning playwright Edward Albee in “The Sandbox.” In addition to his starring role on Grey’s Anatomy, Williams has also appeared in other series such as Law & Order and Greek. His feature film roles include The Cabin in the Woods, Brooklyn's Finest, Sisterhood o the Traveling Pants 2, and the highly anticipated The Butler. Williams splits his time between Brooklyn, NY and Los Angeles, CA.
During the first four days of the Detroit Winter Swing, the PBA will conduct a series of open-field tournaments (the Carmen Salvino Classic, Mark Roth Classic, Don Carter Classic and Earl Anthony PBA Players Championship). Those four events will award individual PBA Tour titles and the qualifying scores posted by each PBAL team member will be combined to produce the team qualifying scores for the ESPN telecasts. All PBAL matches on ESPN will be Baker Format matches, where each team member will bowl two frames in each game.
The complete list of PBA League team rosters with owners is as follows:
Dallas Strikers (owner Terrell Owens)
1. Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla.
2, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla.
3, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela.
4, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore.
5, Mike Machuga, Erie, Pa.
Supplemental: Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind.
Philadelphia Hitmen (owner Kevin Hart)
1, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa.
2, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland.
3, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio.
4, Mike DeVaney, Hemet, Calif.
5, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C.
Supplemental: Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas.
Motown Muscle (owner Jerome Bettis)
1, Mike Fagan, Dallas.
2, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich.
3, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas.
4, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind.
5, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill.
Supplemental: Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y.
Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits (owner LaMarr Woodley)
1, Osku Palermaa, Finland.
2, Martin Larsen, Sweden.
3, Dan MacLelland, Canada.
4, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
5, Thomas Larsen, Denmark.
Supplemental: Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill.
L.A. X (owner Chris Paul)
1, Jason Belmonte, Australia.
2, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas.
3, Andres Gomez, Colombia.
4, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J.
5, Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev.
Supplemental: Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela.
Silver Lake Atom Splitters (owner Chris Hardwick)
1, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas.
2, Dom Barrett, England.
3, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz.
4, Stuart Williams, England.
5, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan.
Supplemental: Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I.
New York City WTT KingPins (owner Billie Jean King)
1, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo.
2, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.
3, Scott Norton, Costa Mesa, Calif.
4, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y.
5, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y.
Supplemental: Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J.
BROOKLYN STyLES (owner Jesse Williams)
1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.
2, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.
3, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y.
4, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla.
5, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga.
Supplemental: Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa.