Faulkner’s run to first PBA title began in TNBA, USBC Youth ranks

Published: December 22, 2015 | Bowl.com
TNBA and USBC Communications

When Gary Faulkner Jr. earned his first Professional Bowlers Association Tour title, with a 216-178 victory over EJ Tackett in the title match of the Rolltech PBA World Championship held at the National Bowling Stadium last week, it was another step for the 25-year-old, who has seen success on each level.

As a youth bowler and member of The National Bowling Association, the Memphis, Tennessee, native won the Masters Boys title at the TNBA Veronica L. Green Junior Singles Scratch Tournament five times (2006-2008 and 2010-2011).

His success as a youth bowler also included a Junior Gold Championships win in 2011, along with a spot on Junior Team USA, and Faulkner was the anchor for the Webber International team that won the men’s title at the 2012 Intercollegiate Team Championships.

“As President of TNBA, I am already proud of the young men and women coming out of our Junior Bowling Program,” TNBA President Greg Green said of Faulkner’s victory. “Gary’s accomplishment last Thursday is a testament of that, and we are so very proud of him”.

In winning his first PBA Tour title, Faulkner became the second black bowler to earn a PBA title. George Branham III of Indianapolis won five times on the PBA Tour, including the 1986 Brunswick Memorial World Open and the 1993 Firestone Tournament of Champions, during his PBA career.

TNBA National Junior Program Director Veronica Green and Faulkner’s longtime coach, Sheryl Hayes, who is vice president of TNBA Memphis Senate, were thrilled to see him compete for the title on TV.

“Gary came into the Junior Bowling Program when he was 5 years old, and, even then, he displayed aspirations of becoming a great bowler,” Hayes said. “He remained with our program until he aged out, mentoring the other youth bowlers along the way.”

Veronica Green added: “Watching him on TV the other night made us so proud of this phenomenal young man.”

For Faulkner, he felt he was on the cusp of success on the PBA Tour.

“Over the past year, I felt it coming,” Faulkner told the PBA after winning the title. “I was making small mistakes, but I’d go home and check my stats and fix my mistakes. Those small pins add up over time. I knew I could do it. I visualized it. I had maybe a half hour of nervousness, but I took a nap and came over here to bowl, and that was it.”

To learn more about TNBA junior program, go to TNBAinc.org/youth and to learn more about the Junior Gold program, visit BOWL.com/JuniorGold. Go to PBA.com for news, TV schedule and more for the PBA Tour.

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