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Johnson never got nervous as a right-handed bowler. Not even with 11 strikes in a row. As a left-hander, that wasn’t the case.

“It started getting emotional in the ninth frame. I didn’t think about shooting a 300 until that frame,” he said. “Going into the 10th, I was nervous because of the circumstance and the situation. The reason that I was bowling left-handed and how it came about.”

Johnson’s 10th strike went Brooklyn (the wrong side of the bowler’s regular pocket). The 11th strike was perfect. Before his final shot, Johnson took a step back, bent over and took a deep breath.

“That was because knowing if I hit that last strike it was going to be an emotional, crazy time,” Johnson said.

Johnson threw his final shot. It was just a tad high, but when all 12 pins fell to the lane, Johnson collapsed to his knees, his hands covering the emotion on his face.

After the strike, a line of congratulations and hugs followed from every bowler in the house. Certainly, every congratulator was aware of the situation.

“I didn’t know what everyone was thinking,” Johnson said. “All I remember, after kneeling down, was someone came up and bear hugged the heck out of me. Everyone was there after that.”

Johnson finished the night with a 683 series.

Johnson received a ring for bowling his 300 game. Quietly, he dedicated this rare feat to the memory of his friend.

Bowling left-handed has given Johnson a new appreciation of the game.

“It sucks it took this accident to make me realize how fun this game is,” he said. “It took bowling left-handed. It took this accident to realize I don’t have to take this so seriously.”

Bowling is just a game, after all.


Information from: The Daily News,