Nathan Maurice challenged his neighbor and former teammate as he hit a four-bagger, four consecutive strikes, during a game of bowling. The outcome being whoever loses will buy dinner and another hour of bowling.
“It’s on,” Maurice, who has yet to decide a major, said.
Maurice has been bowling since the age of nine, after being invited to a classmate’s birthday party at the only bowling alley on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.
“We went to Rock and Glow and got interested with the sport. I asked my dad to take me back the following weekend,” he said. “He taught me how to play.”
Since then, Maurice has been a frequent customer and had spent most Fridays and Sundays of his elementary and middle school days at the bowling alley. He saved his allowances and did chores around the house to pay for the games and shoe rentals.
“I washed dishes for my mom, helped my grandma set the table and changed my baby sister’s diapers. I did everything to earn money,” Maurice said.
Maurice celebrated his 10th birthday party at the bowling alley and got a pair of Etonic bowling shoes from his parents.
“I still have the shoes and the ball at my parent’s house back home. I kept it in a box I made in carpentry class. It was the best birthday ever,” he said.
In ninth grade, Maurice joined a bowling team in school that competed against the other three high schools on the island and schools across the state.
“My godmother was the reason why I kept on playing,” Maurice said. “My parents were proud and supportive, but my godmother was the one who pushed me to play and be better.”
Maurice’s godmother was always with him during practices and never missed a single game, he said.
Although Maurice and his team practiced two times a week, they were not always lucky in bringing home the trophy. They won the semifinals four times, which sent them to Honolulu, Hawaii for the finals. They won the finals two times during his three years on the team.
His average went up from 140 to 225. His highest score to date is 286, during a semifinals game in 2002. He never beat that score again, but hopes to beat it in the future.
“I want to be able to hit the highest score possible. When I hit 286, I think I was the happiest person in the world, like a kid’s first time in Disneyland,” he said.
During his senior year, Maurice stopped bowling because his uncle needed help in fishing. They fished for fun and for business.
“I didn’t have time to do both. I love bowling and fishing, but I chose to cast a fishing pole instead,” he said.
Now that he lives in California, he is thinking of playing again. His cousin just invited him and his neighbor, who was his former teammate in high school to join a handicap bowling team that will send them to Las Vegas, if the team wins.
“I miss the fun, the challenge and the excitement. It is an exciting game. It’s not boring at all,” he said.