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Billiards professional visits ISU

Mike Riopell
Daily Vidette Staff

Normally a place to unwind or take care of a friendly dispute, this week the Bowling and Billiards Center hosts a golden opportunity for students to improve their billiards play.

Professional and nationally recognized billiards instructor Scott Lee is providing his expert advise all week to the students, faculty and staff of ISU.

“ I have been playing for 30 years--22 of those I have spent as a teacher,” Lee said. “I have 17 students that have won national and regional championships including three collegiate championships.”

He travels around the country teaching billiards, and this is his tenth year at ISU.

“ Some schools I go to for five days like this one.” Lee said, some I go to for one.”

In addition to teaching billiards classes on Monday and Tuesday, Lee held free instructional clinics both days, as well.

The winners of the men’s and women’s divisions of the student tournement this week will get a chance to compete against Lee at 11 am Friday. Those divisions produced no winners again Lee in the past, but he said some came “close”.

Friday at noon, a trick shot exhibition follows the championship matches.

“ I’m going to make balls disappear, make the cue ball sign my name on the cloth, make balls change colors…” Lee said.

Through his touring and teaching, Lee picks up on common billiard misconceptions.

“ Most people think [billiards] is a very hard game to learn, and it’s really not,” Lee said. “Most people think you have to hold onto the cue stick really tightly. The opposite is true. You want to hold very loosely, almost like a violin bow. It’s an instrument, not a weapon. And yet most people will automatically hit the ball hard, sometimes as hard as they can, without really understanding that shooting soft is the way to go,” he added.

An ability to adapt to different table conditions holds high value in a pool player, Lee said.

“ This [BBC] is one of the top college game rooms in the country and the equipment is in excellent condition always, Lee said. “So it’s really a joy to come play on equipment like this.”

Lee suggests those interested in learning to playing pool get involved with billiard classes on campus or pick up instructional books and videos.

“ There’s a lot of good instructional information out there, but nothing takes the place of someone like myself, a professional instructor, give you a one-on-one lesson,” Lee said. Whether it be lessons or competitive play with students, Lee loves the game he plays.

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