Bowling fans will have the opportunity to get their bowling fix this weekend in the hours leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
The annual CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational will air Sunday on FOX at 2 p.m. Eastern for fans in the United States. For international audiences, it will air at the same time on FloBowling.
Benefitting the Chris Paul Family Foundation, the CP3 Celebrity Invitational celebrates its 10th anniversary this season and was taped at Bowlero at The Woodlands in Houston on Jan. 17.
Among the biggest names competing or in attendance are Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul, recent NFL Hall of Fame inductee Terrell Owens, American League MVP and World Series champion Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox and Houston Texans superstar defensive end J.J. Watt.
The PBA reports the rest of the athlete lineup includes: Paul’s Houston Rockets teammate PJ Tucker, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver William Jackson III, and NASCAR champion Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Go Bowling! Ford. Entertainers in the field will include Big Brother Season 20 star Tyler Crispen, model and Big Brother contestant Angela Rummans, and Grammy-nominated rapper/artist Bun B.
"This is totally different than any bowling I do during the summer or with my friends and teammates,” Paul told the PBA. “The pressure is different, there are a lot of people here, the lights are bright, but I'll make sure I do enough to win."
The field of PBA stars will include Hall of Famers Norm Duke, Pete Weber and Chris Barnes; past PBA Players of the Year Jason Belmonte, Tommy Jones, EJ Tackett, Sean Rash and Andrew Anderson, and PBA Tour champion Kyle Troup.
In the five-frame Baker format single-elimination match game battle for the prestigious Chris Paul trophies, Duke will be paired with Paul as defending champions, trying to help Paul claim the title for a record fifth time.
Weber will again bowl with Owens, Barnes will be paired with Jackson, Jones with Betts, Tackett with Tucker, Belmonte with Almirola and Troup with Crispen. Rash and Anderson will engage in a two-minute “PBA Speed Strike Challenge” to determine who gets to bowl with Rummans.
The featured doubles competition will involve modified five-frame matches in which the PBA partner will bowl the sixth, eighth and 10th frames while the celebrity bowls the seventh and ninth frames. It’s a fast, fun format, but one that competitors take seriously, especially one as intense as Major League Baseball’s premier player in 2019, Betts.
"It means a lot,” Betts told the PBA. “It's tough to create friendships with athletes in different sports, but Chris Paul has been a great friend and great guy."
Despite his growing friendship with Paul, Betts has his eyes on the prize after losing to Paul and his PBA partners in the championship match the past two years.
"I can't lose again,” Betts told the PBA. “I lost the last two years. I can't lose again."
Also as part of the telecast, 2018 Teen Masters age-group winners Brandon and Justin Bohn (sons of PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III), Tom Hankey Jr. and Jenna Williams; former University of Nebraska All-American Gazmine Mason, and PBA Tour champion DJ Archer, who will compete in a one-shot, low-count out “mini clash.” The winner will advance to a similar “super clash” with the celebrity stars.
Bill Vint of PBA Media Relations contributed to this report.