Kelly Kulick, the only woman to win a Professional Bowlers Tour title and the first bowler to appear in ESPN the Magazine’s annual “Bodies We Want” issue, has been cited as a natural to bowl on one of the two L.A. PBA League franchises.
On Monday, Kulick didn’t dispute the notion that she and Hollywood could be a perfect fit.
“I’d love to get there [L.A.] and be an actress,” said Kulick, as she prepared to board a plane to compete in a bowling event in Vienna. “It’s something I would enjoy doing.”
Kulick, of Union, N.J., spent the PBA League’s inaugural season on the league champion New York City WTT KingPins.
Each of the eight league teams sported five regulars and a supplemental pick. The KingPins’ supplemental selection was Kulick, who was available for duty in case one of her teammates got sick or hurt. The five KingPins regulars bowled in all the games so Kulick stayed on the bench pretty much the whole time.
The league is in the process of completing its rosters for its second season, which will start Jan. 1. All the teams have finished their free agent signings, filling out four of their five roster berths. There will be no supplemental selections this year so each team will carry one fewer player.
The draft is a month away and will be held at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas at the conclusion of the World Series of Bowling.
“Honestly,” said Kulick, “it’s unlikely that I’ll be drafted or chosen. That’s what my gut says. There’s just so many bowlers out there.”
She said she expected if there was any team willing to draft her, it might be her old team, the KingPins. Tennis pioneer Billie Jean King, the KingPins’ owner, acquired Kulick in a preseason trade with the Motown Muscle. King was the league’s only woman owner and Kulick was the lone woman player in the league.
During ESPN’s coverage of the KingPins’ victory over the Muscle in the Elias Cup championship match, Kulick and King were seen continually engaged in animated conversation.
So what were they talking about?
“She was just trying to understand the game,” said Kulick, winner of the U.S. Open in 2003, 2010 and 2012. “She has the heart of a champion. She was joyful when we struck. And she was pissed when we missed. She just wanted to win.”
Kulick, who acknowledged she’s been to L.A. several times, got a chance to bowl in the Elias Cup finals after KingPins anchor Pete Weber sealed the team’s championship. Kulick came in cold to bowl in the bottom of the 10th frame and drilled strikes on her two shots.
“I could pat myself on the back,” Kulick said. “I had been sitting on the bench for at least 30 minutes and threw two strikes. So I was able to say, ‘I could do it.’ ’’
It was a short preview of what Kulick could do in the PBA League as a full-time member. And the question is whether Chris Paul, the owner of the Los Angeles X, and Chris Hardwick, owner of the Silver Lake (Calif.) Atom Splitters, noticed Kulick in action.
“Honestly, if any team drafted me, I would be thrilled and honored,” Kulick said.
Kulick didn’t say which team would be her top choice, but she may have dropped a hint when she indicated to a reporter that she might be the person “if you know any [L.A.] agents who need a blonde girl to work in the movies.”