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Thanks to Merrill Hughes, our Treasurer and Board Member we have a glimpse into what we all hope is the next generation of three-cushion players and the future of the game.
Meet Luca Tomassetti an 11 year old 6th grader who loves to have a cue in his hand. Luca hails from Pittsburgh PA and even at his young age has shown great enthusiasm and skill in the sport of three-cushion billiards. Luca started playing three cushion billiards not too long ago and has generated interest from older players wherever he goes. He was recently given a chance to demonstrate his skills having been sponsored by master mechanic Yura K Ra to play in the 2014 Verhoeven Open Tournament at the Carom Cafe in Flushing New York. That’s right, the USBA’s premier International event - the Verhoeven Open - where some of the top 3 cushion players in the world assemble each year.
When arriving at Carom Café in New York, Luca was an immediate topic of conversation. As many of the players began to notice this young man at the tables, they readily welcomed him into the mix. Luca was usually the first one in the room and was constantly practicing every chance he had. He even received some tips from top players as they gravitated to this fearless and engaging young man. He is definitely a welcome addition to our game.
Luca has already proven himself to be an outstanding young player who displays poise, respect and a good understanding of the game. His week at Carom Café was capped with him on the receiving end of a very generous gift from Ira Lee, who presented Luca with a brand new Molinari Cue. Luca put his old cue away and started using his new gift and stayed with it until the end. We know Luca will treasure both the memories and that wonderful cue forever.
As a retired school teacher, Merrill Hughes has had years of first hand experience with youth and sports. It is Merrill's opinion that Luca Tomassetti displays all the best attributes of a fine young man with a very bright future in both sports and his life. We should all be thankful young Luca has shown such great interest in three cushion billiards. Let us hope and work toward seeing more of him and more like him as the years go by.
The USBA is proud to have Luca as a member and we believe he is a great role model for others. The game needs to see more youth involved and we hope Luca is the start of a campaign that recruits more young players of both sexes to billiards. Luca, we thank you for carrying yourself like a seasoned veteran at the Verhoeven Open and we look forward to observing the influence you might have in encouraging other youth of America to learn the game. As Luca shines, the future certainly looks bright for billiards.