ARLINGTON, Texas – When the time came for Thashaina Seraus of Aruba to pursue collegiate bowling opportunities, she wasn’t quite sure where to begin.
As one of the top players in Aruba, she knew bowling was in her future and she wanted to bowl collegiately in the United States. But she was not equipped to navigate a collegiate landscape that boasts more than 250 institutions with bowling programs.
Eventually, Seraus’ path would lead to the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, where she would become one of the top collegiate players in the nation and one of the top players in school history, joining a long list of successful alumni.
That same path now has led her to the bright lights of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association, and Seraus will make her first PWBA television appearance as an amateur at the Pepsi PWBA Lincoln Open on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS Sports Network.
Seraus’ collegiate resume is impressive. She helped Maryland Eastern Shore to 2017 national tournament appearances at both the NCAA Women’s Championships and Intercollegiate Team Championships, following a third-place finish at the 2016 ITCs.
She earned two National Tenpin Coaches Association First Team All-American selections, one NTCA Second Team All-American selection, two-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Bowler of the Year and helped the Hawks claim two MEAC titles.
But, prior to her career at Maryland Eastern Shore, Seraus received some information about the Bowling Combine and figured out a way to make the trip from Aruba to attend.
The Bowling Combine, held each summer at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, evaluates young bowlers using today’s most objective standards, and collegiate coaches are on-site to analyze the potential of student-athletes.
At the Combine, Seraus laid the groundwork to pursue her collegiate and professional bowling dreams after getting in contact with coach Kayla Bandy.
“The Combine opened doors for me and others who wanted to compete collegiately,” said Seraus, who finished sixth at the 2013 QubicaAMF World Cup. “I didn’t know where to start looking for scholarship opportunities, but by going to the Bowling Combine it was an open door to meet and talk with different coaches to see if they’re interested.
“For me, the Bowling Combine started everything because if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have known what to do. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have got in contact with my coach (Kayla Bandy). It’s a great program.”
Seraus, who finished 19th at the PWBA Wichita Open, will make her PWBA TV debut after just one event on Tour. Her collegiate and international pedigree have helped prepare her for what to expect during a PWBA event.
“I think when you bowl collegiately, it prepares you to make pressure shots and step up for your team when you need to,” said Seraus, who will be the No. 2 seed during the TV stepladder finals. “I feel it’s a good transition because you’re coming from bowling a lot of games and practicing a lot, as well, in college. On Tour, you bowl several games in two days, so I think college helped me prepare and is a good transition.”
Bandy, a PWBA player and four-time National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association All-American at Pikeville, is ecstatic about Seraus’ immediate success.
“I'm over-the-moon excited that she has had great success early in her career,” Bandy said. “This is only the beginning. She came to UMES with raw talent. She worked relentlessly on her game each season, not only for herself but for her teammates, as well. When she left us, we knew she would do great things because of her work ethic, connections established in the bowling community and desire to succeed.”
While Seraus will bowl as an individual on CBS Sports Network, make no mistake she is bowling for her family, especially her son, Thyshawn. She is extremely grateful for her support system which includes many family and friends. On Tuesday night, she will bowl for anyone who has helped her get to this point.
“My son means the world to me,” Seraus explains. “He is the reason I wake up in the morning and work hard. He drives me to be a better person and a mother. Each day I work hard to show him never give up on your dreams. I’m trying my best daily to be a good role model for him and the most important thing for me is to make sure he is happy and loved.
“It’s also for everyone who supports me. I have a great family. My mom, my stepdad, my dad, my grandma and my grandpa. I have so many great friends who have supported me. My family and friends have stood behind me during difficult times and good times. This is actually for them.”
All qualifying and match-play rounds of the 2017 Pepsi PWBA Lincoln Open were held at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Nebraska, on June 9-10.
The stepladder finals were held June 25 at The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in conjunction with the live finals of the Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship and the taped finals of the PWBA Wichita Open and PWBA Greater Detroit Open.