Former two-time NCAA bowling champion, John Hinkle, Jr., might’ve bowled one of the most meaningful games of his life last week. Following the death of his father, John Hinkle, Sr. in 2016, Hinkle had the thumb hold of one of his bowling balls filled with his father’s ashes (his two-hand technique makes this hole obsolete). He then decided to go to his hometown alley, Landmark Lanes in Peoria, Illinois, with his brother Joe, on April 12 with the intention of bowling a perfect game with this very special ball.
“I was talking to my brother and told him, ‘I’m shooting a 300 with this ball,” he told Central Illinois’s local CBS affiliate. “And Joe said, ‘Do it!’”
Hinkle admits that he’s bowled several perfect games throughout his career as a bowler, but this one was special since it was in remembrance of the man who introduced him to the sport.
“I had tears in my eyes in the 11th and 12th frames. I couldn’t tell you where that last ball went, I had so many tears just throwing it,” he said. “It’s special. Dad shot 298, 299 — never had a 300. I had goosebumps, chills. He was there.”