MICHAEL TAKEO FUJITA, JR.  is the 18-year old son of Mike and Kathi Fujita, from El Sobrante, California and is a Senior at De Anza High School in Richmond.

While maintaining an academic excellence in all assigned subjects during Grades 9-12, never receiving a Grade under A-, Michael has a GPA of 4.292.  His scholastic honors include the 2007 May Valley Community Award, which is presented annually to the high school student who makes a significant difference in his/her community.  Michael, showing the highest academic achievement combined with leadership and determination, was awarded by his district, the “2007 Student of the Year”.  In 2008, Michael earned the AP Biology Achievement Academic Award, which is given to the student who shows hard work, dedication, academic success, improvement, and academic success throughout the year.  And, pretty special to Michael are the “Outstanding Achievement  Awards” in the subjects of Pre-Calculus, AP English, AP Biology, and Leadership. Following his high school graduation, Michael will be attending UC Davis to further his education in the field of medicine. His goal: “become the first M.D. on the Pro Bowlers Tour”!

Some of Michael’s extra-curricular activities have included a member of the high school football team where he played wide receiver and free safety. ASB Director of Clubs for 10th and 11th grades.  He basically is in charge of every single club on school campus.  He sees to it that each club is fulfilling school requirements and is on task.  He has served as President of the Environment  Club each year since elected in the 9th grade. This club involves community service and leadership skills.  They participate in beach clean-ups; community functions and school activities.  Also during all of these number of years, Michael has served as Vice President to the Science Club.  This year this club will participate in the National Science Bowl.  He also is responsible for El Sobrante High School’s first science “peer tutoring” for the students who really need help.

Since 9th grade, Michael has been a member of his school’s Early Academic Outreach Program.   The EAOP helps all prepare for college.  It teaches them information that they will need for college and what they will need to actually be accepted into college.  One requirement is being involved in “work experience”, which Michael knows a lot about.  He is a “Party Host” for his local bowling center.  He supervises the “Birthday Parties”, not only for the youngsters, but for private parties and businesses.  He is involved with not only the customer assistance and coordinating the parties, but… the “clean up” afterwards! Off campus Michael is deeply involved with organizations such as Young Life Youth Group.  Here, the members participate in numerous community projects, one of which is traveling to Mexico annually  to build houses for the less fortunate.

In all of this and his fully committed academic schedule, Michael makes time to bowl two leagues per week, one on standard lane-pattern conditions and the other on sport lane-pattern conditions.  But of course, he was born into a bowling family!  His grandfather was a member of two leagues and bowled year round for many years, averaging in the neighborhood of 195.  “Mike”,  Michael’s dad, was a youth bowler all through his school years until graduation from high school when he had to leave the game.  Then, when Michael was nine years old, he attended a “Bowling Birthday Party” and he was hooked!  He liked everything about the game. Dad even took up his game again and enrolled Michael and brother Ronnie in youth bowling.  Michael remembers well his first coaches Miles and Pam Mimms at Pinole Valley Lanes in Pinole, California.  They made the game so much fun.  Michael loved this game!

Early on he showed great potential and eventually became a student of Coaches Rod Ross, who puts on the Junior Gold Clinics; Rick Leong, who taught him how to read the lanes and drill balls; Eric Hattrup (currently proprietor of Diablo Lanes) who introduced him to the today’s difficult “sport bowling lane patterns” and Debbie Haggerty, who helped him with his mental game. Michael is forever grateful to each of them and as he says, “they are more than just coaches, they’re friends and have put me on my next level of bowling”.

And what an exceptionally accomplished bowler he has become.  In the 2007-2008 and 2006-2007 seasons alone,  Michael recorded a certified average of 213 in the standard league and in the sport league 197 and 195 respectively, both of which would be equivalent to 208 when converted from the chart in the USBC Rule Book.  On standard oil patterns Michael has recorded certified honor scores of 299; (2) 300’s;  795 and 802 series.  And amazingly enough, on sport bowling oil conditions Michael has certified honor scores of 266 and 278 games; 720 and 742 series.  And what’s so impressive here is that Michael has a  different delivery than most bowlers….. he bowled one-handed for most of his life until about a year ago, when he taught himself to bowl two-handed for fun. He said “it felt pretty natural”  I guess so, the recorded certified “300” games?  The first one with one hand; the second one, with both hands.  But no surprise, Michael’s mother Kathi says he’s at the bowling center practicing almost every single day.

Michael became a member of Northern California Junior Bowlers Tour (NCJBT) at a young age.  At 13, he was the youngest member to move up to the scratch tournaments.  At 14, he went to Jr. Gold Team USA Trials for the first time, finishing in the top 50 out of over 1,000 boys.  He has participated in this event each year since and has already qualified for the 2009 Team USA Trials.  In 2004, 2005, and 2007, Michael was chosen to the NCJBT All Star Team.  These bowlers, of course, are an elite group.  All chosen because of not only their outstanding bowling achievements but their excellent sportsmanship conduct.  Michael holds 1st place standings in local, state, national and international tournaments, which include (2008) NCJBT; (2008) Fireside Sport Shot Invitational;  (2008) Earl Anthony’s Memorial Tournament; (2006-2008) Nor Cal Jr. Adult Doubles and 1st Place in the Jr. Adult Tournament held at the National Bowling Stadium.  And currently, Michael is ranked first overall for the NCJBT.

Besides Michael’s outstanding performance on the lanes, he possesses wonderful leadership abilities and truly is a “people person”.   He was President of the Jr. King of the Hill League from 2004 through 2008;  and President of the Jr/Adult League from 2006 through 2008.  Michael enjoys giving back to the game by volunteering his time teaching the little kids to bowl.  He says he loves to see their face when they get their first strike. Michael enjoys the “giant family” in the bowling arena and long lasting friendships, which he will hold dear a life time.

Michael is indeed a family man.  He takes pride in the fact that his younger brother Ronnie, with a 218 average, a couple of 800 series and tons of honor scores, bowls all of the scratch tournaments with him.  He says “we help each other improve our games, and bowling has kept us best friends because we share the same love for the game.”  Off the lanes, and since Michael was in the 7th grade, he and Ronnie have faithfully volunteered at the local Homeless Shelter.  And, Michael is extremely close to his grandparents.  At least one day a month, Michael reserves time to take his grandparents to a movie.

Michael Takeo Fujita, Jr. is truly a deserving honoree for the California USBC 2009 “Star of Tomorrow” $1,000 Scholarship and will be honored and presented his awards at the our Annual Convention on Sunday, June 14th at the Marriott Hotel-Riverside.