YAKIMA, Wash. — Having achieved everything he can at the collegiate level, capped by a second national title this spring, Marshall Kent has decided to try his hand at the next level.
The Yakima bowler announced he is turning pro and will join the Professional Bowlers Association, with his first event coming in a little more than a week.
“Joining the PBA has been a lifelong dream,” Kent said in a release from the PBA. “I always wanted to make a TV show and bowl for a PBA title.”
Kent’s first event is part of the PBA Summer Swing and will be in Shawnee, Okla., May 18-25.
Although it’s his first event as a professional, Kent is no stranger to competing against — and beating — pro bowlers.
In March, Kent, 21, claimed his second European Bowling Tour title, winning the prestigious Euro Challenge in Munich, Germany. In 2012, he won the EBT’s Russian Open.
Competing for Robert Morris-Illinois in Chicago, Kent compiled a stellar career in his three years, including back-to-back national Bowler of the Year awards in 2012 and 2013. He was a United States Bowling Congress and NAIA first-team all-American each of the past two seasons in helping Robert Morris win the NAIA national title each of those seasons. This year he ranked fourth nationally with a 184.372 average.
As an amateur, Kent, a three-time member of both Team USA and Junior Team USA, was the top qualifier and finished second in last fall’s Scorpion Championship, part of the PBA World Series, and last July, he was fourth in the U.S. Open, falling in the stepladder finals to eventual champion Wes Malott.
He has won gold medals in the PABCON and World Youth championships, the 2012 Team USA Trials men’s championship and the 2012 USBC Junior Gold Championship, and was second in the 2012 AMF World Cup.
“Marshall is obviously a tremendously talented player but also a great young man who will be a fantastic role model for our sport,” PBA commissioner Tom Clark said in the same release.
Kent has one more year of college eligibility remaining but gave that up since he will graduate in July with a degree in business management.