Adam Zimmerman, who graduated Deer Park in 2016, now bowls...

Adam Zimmerman, who graduated Deer Park in 2016, now bowls at Webber International University and was named Team Junior USA member. Credit: Zimmerman family

When Adam Zimmerman graduated Deer Park in 2016, he left as one of the greatest high school bowlers in Long Island history.

As a six-year starter, Zimmerman bowled multiple 300 games, set the Long Island record for highest average in a season in his junior year with a 237.42, and broke his own record in his senior year with a 241.83. He made four Suffolk All-Star teams, helped the county earn four consecutive state titles (2013-2016), and was named the Newsday Long Island Bowler of the year in 2015 and 2016.

Zimmerman, now a sophomore on the bowling team at Webber International University in Babson Park, Florida, added to his list of accomplishments on Jan. 7, with a feat that might have topped them all.

The 19-year-old was named a member of Junior Team USA.

“I don’t want to put down any of my other accomplishments, but this was definitely a step up from all of those,” Zimmerman said. “Ever since I was a little kid when I found out I can be a part of the junior team it has been a dream of mine to bowl for my country.”

The achievement didn’t come as a surprise to Deer Park coach Kyle McCourt, who coached Zimmerman during his last three years of high school.

“He is the hardest working individual that I have ever seen. He puts the time in and deserves all the rewards that he gets,” McCourt said. “It was his ultimate goal and he was destined to accomplish it.”

For the second time in the past four years, Zimmerman flew out to Las Vegas to compete in the Team USA Trials at the Orleans Hotel and Casino. The two-handed bowler earned an entry into the trials in 2015, after winning the Junior Gold U15 Tournament in 2014, one of the biggest national tournaments in the country.

During the five-day trials, Zimmerman bowled six games per day, on five different oil patterns. He competed against 174 bowlers from across the country, including youth, amateurs and professionals, for a chance to earn a spot on Team USA.

Zimmerman finished 22nd overall and fifth among individuals in his age group (20 and younger). The top four bowlers in his age group automatically qualified and Zimmerman was forced to wait on a committee’s decision.

Although his score wasn’t quite good enough to make the Team USA, Zimmerman was pretty sure he earned himself a spot on the junior team.

“I didn’t feel nervous until about 30 seconds before they made the picks,” Zimmerman said. “I am pretty sure my heart sank, to the floor.”

When the committee read the names of the bowlers who made the junior team, Zimmerman’s name was announced as one of 13 bowlers.

“I wasn’t in the same room as my family, but when they announced my name I actually heard my mom scream from the other room,” Zimmerman said. “Once I heard my name, I almost didn’t even think it was true to be honest. I don’t even know how to describe it. It was remarkable.”

Zimmerman’s father Steve, who coached him growing up, has seen Adam achieve many things in his bowling career, but this was just different.

“It has been unbelievably gratifying watching him,” Steve said. “I can’t really put it into appropriate words. Especially this, because you are now representing not just New York, but you are representing the entire country by making Junior Team USA.”

Zimmerman will officially report to the team at a weeklong camp during the summer at the International Training and Research Center in Dallas.

In the meantime, he will pursue a degree in Sports Business Management and will continue to bowl for Webber International, in hopes of turning professional.

“I need to keep learning, learning from the people that I know, keep working with my coaches, and bowl in tournaments where all the professionals are going to be,” Zimmerman said. “Getting experience is really the best way to learn.”


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