Team Name: Silver Lake Atom Splitters
Celebrity Owner: Chris Hardwick
Franchise Player: Chris Barnes
Chris Barnes pieced together one of the most impressive lineups (at least based on initial impressions and prior to actually seeing any competition) from the seventh spot in the PBA League draft. His roster consists of two of England's best bowlers along with some of Barnes' fellow Wichita State alumni.
1. Chris Barnes
Despite a slow (for him) 2011-2012 PBA season, Chris Barnes is still one of the most formidable opponents for anyone on the PBA Tour. Barnes' ability to read lanes and adjust to any condition is unquestioned, but how about his ability to pick a bowling team? Many people, immediately following the draft, thought Barnes put together one of, if not the, best teams in the league.
Barnes is a Triple Crown winner (having won the U.S. Open, Tournament of Champions and PBA World Championship), the 1998 Rookie of the Year, the 2007-2008 PBA Player of the Year and the 2012 World Bowling Tour Champion, and that's just a small sampling of his accomplishments. He'd love to add PBA League Champion to that list, and he hopes his roster will help him get there.
2. Dom Barrett
Dom Barrett snagged his first PBA Tour title in the 2012 Scorpion Open, and his consistent performances throughout qualifying rounds in just about every tournament he enters landed him a spot on the Atom Splitters with Barnes' first overall pick.
Barrett hails from England, and is one of the most prominent European bowlers leading the charge into the United States. With one title already, he's looking for more, and will be crucial to the success of the Atom Splitters.
3. Josh Blanchard
Blanchard earned the 2011-2012 PBA Rookie of the Year Award quite handily, thanks to consistent bowling throughout the season. Although he's most famous for his fall on television, those who follow bowling closely know he hung around late in most tournaments he entered, taking home a check more often than not.
Barnes sees the raw talent in Blanchard, knowing he'll break through at some point, hoping it happens during the Winter Swing.
4. Stuart Williams
Another European proving he can win on the PBA Tour (like Barrett, Williams hails from England), Williams joins the Atom Splitters looking to add consistency and reliability to the roster. Barnes was lucky to get Williams late in the third round with the 23rd overall pick, as most projected Williams would've been picked long before that.
Williams won his first career PBA Tour title in the Viper Open during the 2011 World Series of Bowling.
5. Nathan Bohr
Like Blanchard and Barnes, Bohr is an alumnus of Wichita State University, where he helped his team win the 2003 Men's Intercollegiate Championship. He's been competing on the PBA Tour since 2003, and as of the beginning of the 2013 PBA League season was still seeking his first career PBA Tour title (although he had won 15 Regional titles and was twice named the PBA Southwest Region Player of the Year.
Barnes likes what he sees in Bohr's game, and Bohr will be counted on to make big shots in big situations.
6. Jon VanHees
Jon VanHees has yet to make a large impression on the PBA Tour (as of the formation of the PBA League), but he's made enough of an impression on the bowlers that Chris Barnes wanted him on the roster with his supplemental pick.
VanHees will get into the action if any of the other Atom Splitters are unable to compete, and VanHees' experience in big situations will give the rest of the team peace of mind when he steps up to the line.