Walter Ray Williams Jr., PBA's alltime titles leader, recently returned from a trip to China where he helped friend Frank Zhao, the founder and president of Longmarch Bowling, promote the opening of a new six -lane bowling center.
The new center, located in the Bund district of Shanghai, is the fourth built by Zhao's organization in China. Longmarch, which is involved in all aspects of the bowling industry from the manufacture of bowling equipment to construction of bowling centers, is also turning its sights to the promotion of the sport at the competitive level with the hope of growing the sport professionally, according to Williams.
"Nothing is finalized yet, but hopefully they can get a professional tournament organized sometime prior to the QubicaAMF World Cup (Oct. 14-23 in Shanghai)," Williams said.
As part of his promotional trip, Williams was featured on a 90-minute special on bowling which will be aired Aug. 1 on China's Jiangsu Sports Network.
"They are committed to growing the sport and it's a huge market to work with," Williams said. "They want to have me back next year for a couple weeks to expand the promotion they want to do."
With William's help, Zhao initiated a "PBA development league" program that has helped prepare and develop China's top players for international competition over the past three years. For the past two years, Zhao has sent Chinese representatives to compete in the PBA World Series of Bowling.
"There are 25 million people alone in the Shanghai area, so the potential is unlimited," Williams added.
While in Asia, Williams also competed in the Andong Korean Invitational which attracted a field of 220 players. As for how he did, all he would say is, "not very good."
Below to see more pictures from William's trip