Bowling News USA - December 7, 2010 The Next Storm Prodigy™ - Michael Tang!
The Storm Prodigy™ writing contest was the second of its kind, following in the footsteps of the Roto Grip/Wes Malott All Stars Contest in 2009. Contestants were asked to submit a letter explaining why they should be chosen as the next Storm Prodigy. Hundreds of letters were sent into Storm and after thoughtful review, the winner was announced on September 15th. Michael Tang of San Francisco, California was chosen as the next Storm Prodigy!
Read Michael's winning essay here:
The Grand Prize of the Storm Prodigy Writing Contest featured a three day experience with a Storm PBA Professional Staff Player. That player happened to be one of the greatest bowlers of all-time: Storm staffer and PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke!
On November 25th, the Storm Prodigy contest team made its way to San Francisco. In attendance for the Storm team was Director of Marketing, Roger Noordhoek, Regional Sales Manager, Tyler Jensen, his wife Catie, and Multi-Media Director Louie Wemett.
Day one featured a meet and greet with the Storm Team and Michael Tang’s family. Roger met Louie and Norm at the San Francisco International Airport. After arriving at the hotel, it was off to dinner at Benihana's in Japantown. Michael was joined by his parents, Thomas and Tracie Tang, along with his older brother Darrin. It was apparent right from the start how appreciative Michael and his family were. There was plenty of storytelling and laughs at Benihana's. The dinner was fantastic as the entire group celebrated Michael's birthday. How cool is it to have PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke sing Happy Birthday to you? Quite Cool! A visit to Sophie's Crepe Shop for dessert was next. If you have never tried a dessert crepe, the Storm crew would highly suggest it...Awesome!
(Meet and Greet with Norm Duke, the Storm Crew and the Tangs)
On day two, the bowling action began. Norm and the Storm crew arrived at Sea Bowl in Pacifica, California for a day of on-lane coaching. The bowling center was buzzing as Norm walked in. Forty junior bowlers from Michael's league were on hand and Norm went lane to lane meeting the bowlers and offering hall of fame tips. Norm bowled a mini one game tournament against the Sea Bowl junior bowlers. One thing you have to know about Norm...he wants to win all the time! He shot 245 and took first place honors. It was then time for a one game match with the next Storm Prodigy...Michael Tang!
(Sea Bowl Entertainment Center, Pacifica, CA)
(PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke and the next Storm Prodigy, Michael Tang!)
It was pretty easy to see why Michael shot a 300 game when he was just ten years old. He has all the tools required for a bright future in bowling. Norm commented to the Storm team, 'this kid throws the ball great!"
(Norm and Michael strike a pose!)
The one game match was on...PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke versus the next Storm Prodigy, Michael Tang. Both bowlers started off with strings of strikes. Back and forth, strike after strike. If Michael was nervous, it was sure hard to tell. His smooth swing and approach impressed us all. He was armed with a great piece of equipment as well. You guessed it... a Storm Prodigy! Both bowlers had the front seven and the audience was cheering every ball. When Norm left a 7-10 split in the eighth frame, it looked as if Michael was going to slay a giant. But PBA Hall Famers never give in, and a greek church by Michael in the tenth frame resulted in a 263 - 243 win for Norm. What a match! You can bet that Michael will never forget the day he went strike for strike with the great Norm Duke!
(The Hall of Fame touch...by Norm Duke)
After a great day on the lanes at Sea Bowl, Michael's family and the Storm crew headed to Fisherman's Wharf. It was really cool. The group visited the tourist mecca and took in the wonderful sights and sounds of San Francisco. A fantastic dinner at Scoma's was up next. Norm and crew had a blast. The stories and laughs at dinner were sublime. Included was a story from 1984 when Louie had the chance to visit a particular venue inside Wrigley Field in Chicago. It was his one and only venture in Cub Ticket Entrepreneurism!
(Roger and Norm battle at Pong..Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA)
Sunday featured an all day appearance by Norm and the crew at Sea Bowl. It coincided with a Storm MatchMaker event. Even cooler, Norm was on the PBA ESPN telecast of the Cheetah Championship which was taped a month earlier in Las Vegas. Norm finished second in the tournament and the entire audience at Sea Bowl was treated to Norm's commentary of the match. Tyler did some play by play of the event and his talents certainly could nominate him to be the next Randy Pedersen!
(The next Storm Prodigy, Michael Tang signs an autograph)
The MatchMaker event was very successful. Over 70 bowlers participated, trying out their favorite Storm and Roto Grip balls. Tyler and Catie did a wonderful job making sure the MatchMaker program ran smoothly. The pro shop sold 20 or so Storm and Roto Grip balls and the bowlers received instruction from Norm and the Storm crew. Michael had a personal lesson from Norm at the end of the day. He listened intently as Norm provided him with information that he learned throughout his hall of fame career. You could see that Norm was really into what he was doing and Michael loved it.
(Catie and Tyler Jensen at the Storm Matchmaker™ Event)
(Norm poses with a Storm Prodigy ball winner...another happy Storm customer!)
(Hall of Famer Norm Duke offers instruction at the Storm Matchmaker Event)
That night, the group met for dinner at Tai Wu (Mr. Fong's) restaurant for authentic Chinese cuisine and more stories from Norm's early years on the PBA Tour were shared. It was time for goodbyes after dinner and Tracie took one last group photo.
(Storm Prodigy Event 2010)
The Storm Prodigy Event was wonderful. The Tang family and everyone at Sea Bowl were very kind and accommodating. Norm and Roger commented on how great the trip was and how great it is to work for a company like Storm Products. In the end, that's what it's all about. A great company, with great people, providing the greatest products. The Storm Prodigy Event was a home-run.
(Photo's courtesy: Hiromi Chiyoda, Tracie Tang)
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