East Hills resident bowls perfect game

East Hills resident bowls perfect game
Photo provided by Samuel Kaplan

Samuel Kaplan, 29, of East Hills, shot his first perfect 300 game in a United States Bowling Congress (USBC)-certified league or tournament at AMF Babylon Lanes on April 21.

Although he has bowled perfect games five times before, this is the first time it happened in official, sanctioned play.

“Getting my first sanctioned 300 was really exciting. I have gotten 12 strikes [a perfect game] five times before, but this one really counts”, said Kaplan.

As this was his first such game in official play, he will be receiving a commemorative ring from USBC.

This perfect game was bowled using one of the three new bowling balls Samuel had recently gotten from a friend, Paul Bajorski.

Jimmy Lizzo, the owner of Bowlers Touch Pro Shop at Bowlero Mineola, drilled its holes. Jimmy has drilled and maintained all of Samuel’s equipment ever since he moved to New York in late 2005.

“I want to thank Jimmy very much for drilling these balls for me. He has been instrumental in my bowling career and this, among the many other things I have accomplished, would not have been possible without his tutelage”, said Kaplan.

Kaplan started bowling three hours every Sunday morning when he was just four years old. One morning, he asked his father, Alan, what he would do if he ever bowled a 300 game. Without thinking, his father tossed out, “I’d give you $100.”

Luckily, his dad did not blurt out a much larger figure, because Samuel stuck with bowling, and this came to fruition many years later on Christmas Eve of 2010 during his junior year of high school.

“While I didn’t think it would happen, his work ethic speaks for itself,” said Alan Kaplan.

Samuel Kaplan was on the Roslyn High School varsity bowling team for four years and served as captain of the team his Junior and Senior years.

He has had several other bowing accomplishments, including several top five finishes in past leagues and tournaments, three-time Roslyn High School MVP, two-time high school Nassau County runner-up (both of which led to representing Section VIII at the state tournament in 2011 and 2012), and a match play appearance in both the 2021 Long Island Masters and the 2022 Lehigh Valley Masters.

Kaplan still has not fully recovered from CBS’ 2022 cancellation of the one-season TV sitcom “How We Roll”, which starred Pete Holmes and was inspired by the life of professional bowler Tom Smallwood. “

I was really disappointed when they stopped filming that show because it was so enjoyable,” he said.

The recent 300 game was bowled when Sam volunteered to serve as a substitute in a friend’s bowling league. Although someone else benefited from the 300 points, the pride in this accomplishment is all Kaplan’s.

“And now I’m hoping to bowl a sanctioned 800 series [three games],” he said.

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