About Aleta Sill
If you have been following the sport of professional bowling for the past 20 years, you probably know Aleta Sill from Dearborn, Michigan. If you are new to the sport and want to learn about Aleta’s life and bowling career, you are in the right place. Read on to peek into the life of one of the most accomplished lefties in the sport of professional bowling. (Some of this content from Bowling – December/January 1999 Ms. Millionaire by Bill Vint)
THE EARLY YEARS
At the age five when Aleta Rzepecki threw her first gutter balls at Oxford Lanes in Michigan, her grandparents, Steven and Adeline Zuke, probably never imagined that the advice given that day would help mold Aleta’s career as a professional bowler and love for the sport. The advice? “I’m not paying for you to throw gutter balls,” Steven Zuke firmly told the young champion-to-be on her first of many bowling outings.
“I really started trying to get better,” said Aleta after her grandfather’s firm admonition. In fact, when she was six, she joined her first youth league and her grandparents promoted her continuing improvement by offering her incentives. If Aleta reached a specific goal like bowling a certain game or achieving a specific series her grandparents purchased Aleta her own ball and shoes. Bowling always remained Aleta’s passion as she moved from child to teen, and even though she pursued other interests in music and sports, she always bowled.
When Aleta, who, by the way was named by her father after Princess Aleta of the Prince Valiant comic strip, saw the lady pros bowl in 1976 at the AMF Grand Prix of Bowling when she was thirteen – she was hooked. She knew that’s what she wanted to do with her life. She wanted to bowl.
“Joe Naso, who was a manager at Thunderbowl, noticed me and kinda took me under his wing. He was the first real coach I had and taught me what I really needed to do to improve. My grandmother drove me every day to work out with Joe.”
Aleta bowled in the Cecil Ward Traveling League, a top-level youth program in the Detroit area until age 16 when she ran out of competition. She then talked her parents into allowing her to bowl in adult leagues which allowed her to improve against tough competition. This prepared her for her professional career that began when she was 17 in 1980. After just five tournaments, Aleta made her television debut in Alexandria, Va., in 1981 and finally won her first Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour title in the Gallery of Homes Classic in Los Angeles. In a scrapbook created by her grandfather, Aleta has a photo copy of her first championship check.
In 1985 at age 23, Aleta accompanied Jeanne Naccarato and Cindy Coburn to Japan to compete against the top Japanese players of the day. The JPBA brought the players over to compete against their best female players. “All we did was bowl and eat and be entertained,” Aleta said. She didn’t always like all the Japanese cuisine, but notes that she was treated royally on each visit. Aleta has traveled to Japan numerous times with fellow pros Donna Adamek, Nikki Gianulias, Dana Miller (Mackie), Lisa Wagner, Leanne Barrette, Kim Terrell and Dede Davidson. With Michelle Mullen, Aleta has been to Japan twice in the last six years to bowl with and coach US Troops stationed there. Aleta now loves sushi like the shrimp tempura roll! Aleta has also visited Belgium, Germany and Holland while showcasing her bowling talent and gift for instruction.
Since the PWBA ended sponsorship of professional women’s bowling events, she has sold her luxury motor coach, and makes her home in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Aleta still bowls in leagues, but her focus is on coaching. Aleta now is a SILVER-level USBC coach, and she owns her own bowling pro shop ALETA SILL’S BOWLING WORLD and coaching business, YOUR BOWLING COACH, with business partner and GOLD-LEVEL coach, Michelle Mullen.
HOBBIES and INTERESTS
Besides bowling trophies, Aleta collects and owns many dolphin figurines, sculptures and articles of clothing with dolphin imprints. It has been one of Aleta’s dreams to someday swim with the dolphins. Her dream was realized in Florida in 2003. “They look so gentle and beautiful to me. They seem so calm. They look like they have fun all the time, and they are very soothing to me.” Additionally, Aleta enjoys television programs like Biggest Loser, Work Out, and she follows some Soap Operas. She also likes movies with Nicholas Cage or Angelina Jolie.
In addition to singles competition, Aleta enjoys team bowling. Aleta and her Detroit-area teams hold numerous records. Aleta has always enjoyed competing with her local teams.