We all talk a lot about Jason Belmonte, the bowler. But not enough of us talk about Jason Belmonte, the ambassador. Sure, his talents are all-world. And, sure, there is no denying his success on the lanes. But what about his success as an ambassador?
Face it, whether you like the two-handed delivery or not, Jason Belmonte is one of the most likable players in the world, today. He’s always smiling, always personable, and, above all else, he’s always willing to help grow the sport.
One has to look no further than his involvement with the Olympic committee. In many ways, Belmonte has become the face of bowling’s Olympic movement.
His ambassadorship doesn’t stop there, though. He has been the face of the PBA tour for several years now. Through his ups and downs, he’s remained a consummate professional.
But of all of his impressive ambassadorial moments, none, perhaps, beat what he did this week.
In Las Vegas, at the USBC Open Championships, Belmonte showed up without a team, without a doubles partner, and without any real plan. He placed his name on the sub board and waited to be chosen.
After finding a group in need of a player, Belmonte joined them in their march down to their lanes, shoed up, and began to compete with them.
Understand that most bowlers of Belmonte’s stature, though there aren’t many on the planet, put together very, very strong groups, capable of not only bowling well, but, at the end of the day, winning Eagles.
And Belmonte could have done just that. Trust me, I have an inkling that there might have been at least a couple of teams that would have enjoyed adding Belmonte to their group. But that wasn’t what Belmonte was interested in doing.
Belmonte didn’t enter the Open Championships for the money or Eagles. In fact, Belmonte wasn’t even in Las Vegas for the Open Championships, according to their Facebook page, he was simply in town and decided to stop in. Sure, the money and the Eagles are bonuses. But Belmonte entered just to bowl and to give one lucky group of men an experience they will never forget.
Belmonte, of course, bowled tremendously. After a slow start (170 game one), Belmonte went on to finish with a score of 2073. His team didn’t fair as well, of course. None of them bowled exceptionally well. But they all had fun, including Jason Belmonte.
Looking forward to next year, no one would blame him if he put together a strong team, capable of contending for Eagles. But, apparently, that isn’t what Belmonte plans on doing. No. Instead, Belmonte plans on once again showing up, putting his name on the sub board, and surprising another group of unsuspecting players with an experience of a lifetime.