This week's River Bank & Trust Athlete of the Week is Auburn High's Fillip Nguyen, a senior on the Tigers' bowling team.
Auburn Villager: How did you get your start bowling?
Fillip Nguyen: It's kind of a funny story. So my junior year of prom, I went bowling after prom and one of my friends was really competitive during the game. So we just wanted to get into bowling from prom, so this summer we just started going every day because we had three free days with this pass. That's when I bought my first ball, too. So it's kind of weird how I got into bowling, and it's only been five months since I started.
AV: Have you played any other sports?
FN: No, not in school, but I play rec basketball, and that's it.
AV: What do you enjoy about bowling?
FN: I'm not trying to say bowling's easy, but I feel like learned bowling and how to be good really quick.
AV: What is the most challenging aspect of learning to bowl?
FN: Not to get frustrated over the all the pins you leave and not picking it up. That's the most frustrating thing because you can't really bowl bad. You have to calm yourself down, and that's how you get good.
AV: What is your style for holding the ball?
FN: I'm left-handed, and I'm a two-handed bowler, so I bowl with two hands. And basically I have an advantage because most bowlers are right-handed and they have to bowl on the right side of the lane. Usually, I get the left side of the lane to myself.
AV: What kind of advantage does that give you?
FN: There's oil on the lane, so everyone right-handed has to bowl on the right oil, so it will dry out quickly. For me, I just have my own lane, so it will just dry out whenever.
AV: Did you have any role models or bowlers you picked up tips from?
FN: Yeah. I checked out Belmo, Jason Belmonte. I also like left-handed bowler Jesper Svensson. He's also a two-handed, left-handed bowler. And Kyle Troup. All of them are two-handed bowlers.
AV: What did you pick up from them?
FN: Form and momentum and how to find a good line for a good strike bowl.
AV: How does it feel to finally get the season going?
FN: I really feel the pressure of being in a competitive sport. It just makes me want to bowl better. I want to actually compete against other bowlers from different schools, and it's really a drive for me to get better at bowling.
AV: What are your or the team's goals this year?
FN: As a team, definitely get better.
AV: As a senior do you know what you want to do yet after you graduate?
FN: I'm definitely going to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and I'm looking to start a bowling team there, a men's bowling team because they only have a women's bowling team. I'd like to start that up.
AV: Do you know what you want to study yet?
FN: I want to do pre-med. I want to be a psychiatrist.
AV: Do you have any hobbies outside of sports?
FN: I do show choir. That's one of things I love as much as bowling.
AV: What do you love about show choir?
FN: That's where all my friends are, and we're just family in show choir.
Interview by Brian Woodham