Busta’s Person of the Week: Young bowler’s advice: “If you wanna stand out, be different and embrace who you are.”

Busta’s Person of the Week: Young bowler’s advice: “If you wanna stand out, be different and embrace who you are.”
July 14
14:45 2021

By Busta Brown

What do most champions do immediately after their big victory? They celebrate! But not 14-year-old Tyshaun Baxter. After he became the South Region PBA Jr. Champion for the 15-year-old division, Tyshaun’s first thought wasn’t to celebrate.“The guy that I beat was very upset. I understood how he felt, because I’ve been there. I knew what he was feeling, so I didn’t feel it would be right to celebrate in his face like that. 

“This was my first big tournament win and it felt amazing! So, of course, I wanted to run around the bowling alley and jump up and down. But I decided it was more important to give him time to get his composure together. 

“It wasn’t a big deal for people to see me celebrating, so my family and I celebrated later,” shared the extremely humble and talented bowler. 

Baxter has been bowling since the age of 10 and has been earning scholarship money ever since. Bowling will be his ticket into the university of his choice, but there’s a lot of work that goes into becoming a champion. “I work hard, Mr. Brown, because I never want to feel like someone gave me something that I didn’t earn. It also makes me feel a lot better about winning. I bowl five times a week, which builds my stamina. During the PBA Jr. Championship, I bowled seven games in one day and 18 games that weekend.  I was tired, but I had to push myself, because there were a lot of top bowlers in the tournament. Some of the guys haven’t lost a game all day, so I had to push my mind and body beyond feeling tired, and it eventually paid off,” said Tyshaun. 

Bowling isn’t one of the most popular sports among young Black youth, but Tyshaun isn’t trying to win a popularity contest; he genuinely loves to bowl. “A lot of people asked me, why did I choose bowling. I hear things like, it doesn’t pay a lot of money, or you won’t be famous like basketball and football players, or rappers. But I’ve learned that you must do what makes you happy, and not just for the money and fame. 

“When I’m in the bowling alley, everything about life finally makes sense to me. The pins are my problems and I’m killing ten birds with one stone. Whenever I bowl a strike, I feel like all of my problems have gone away. This is what I’m going to do in college and professionally. It’s what I truly love!” 

Tyshaun is one of the kindest and most intelligent young men I’ve met. The future of America is in great hands. He shared the importance of why young people should find their safe place. He considers the bowling alley his second home. “It’s the place where I feel that I’m in control. The world can move pretty fast, but when I’m bowling, I’m in control of my destiny,” shared the superstar bowler. 

The 14-year-old shared some advice for aspiring young athletes: “If you wanna stand out, be different and embrace who you are, because people are going to ridicule you. People will tell you about everything you do wrong. But stay strong, because you will be successful. That same crowd who put you down, will eventually come back and use you as an example of how to be successful. When I played basketball, I wasn’t as good, so people ridiculed me all the time. Now that I’m doing well with bowling, I get lots of compliments. But I’m not mad about the ridicule. I understand it, because it’s a part of being young, growing up and success.” 

Between bowling tournaments and school, Tyshaun is well aware of the importance of family. He’s an amazing student, son and big brother as well. His younger brothers, Terrence and Terrell, take classes via Zoom. “That can be pretty tough on my mom and dad, so I do whatever is needed to make it easier for my parents and brothers. 

“Family is the most important part of my life. They have always supported my dreams. My dad keeps me on top of my game, because he loves to challenge me and I need that. It sharpens my skills. My parents are the reason I’m at this point in my career. I couldn’t have done it without them.” 

I asked if there’s a cause he’d like to be a spokesman for. “Mental health for sure. Because I feel like everyone should be heard and have the same opportunities. The world has gotten a lot crazier and so many young people feel like they have to do far too much by themselves, and that can be extremely stressful on youth. No child should have to grow up too fast. Young people feel like no one is trying to understand us or talk to us. All we hear is what we’re not supposed to do, instead of asking what we want to do. Everyone wants to talk and judge us, instead of sharing solutions on how youth and adults can work together. 

“One of the things that keeps me focused and helps me get through some tough moments is something my bowling coach said to me. ‘As long as you have spares, you’re still in the game.’ I use that quote as a life lesson of hope and never quitting. One day I was having a bad game and wanted to quit. He said, ‘Don’t get frustrated when you bowl bad games, because the bad games could be enough to win.’ I use that as motivation to always push myself to be my absolute best.”  

My phenomenal Busta Buddy of the Week is Tyshaun Baxter.

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