Personal Best: Higa twins aid effort to strike out holiday hunger

Scott and Matt Higa may be fraternal twins, but their lives have been nearly identical.

The San Francisco natives, born two minutes apart, were childhood celebrities. In the 1980s, the young bowlers were featured in People Magazine, on Good Morning America and on many local TV stations.

On Nov. 24, the Higa brothers will use their “star strike power” to strike out hunger at Serra Bowl’s Turkey Bowl IX.

The event benefits St. Anthony Dining Room and the North Peninsula Food Pantry & Dining Center of Daly City.

Serra Bowl donates a turkey for every strike that is rolled. This year, Serra Bowl General Manager Mike Leong has added a combination food drive. “You bring in canned or non-perishable food, and we’ll give you a free game,” Leong said.

The Higa twins may be found either bowling strikes for turkeys or joining with the professional bowlers in the popular “zany trick shot” portion of the day’s activities.

There were no tricks involved as the Higas collected trophies and scholarship money in junior bowling tournaments growing up. With the trophies long ago packed away by mom Judy in the family’s Golden Gate Heights home, bowling has remained a constant in their lives. The twins estimate that they’ve bowled close to 15,000 games over the past 25 years.

In addition to bowling, the boys were also battery mates on baseball teams from their little league days at West Portal Elementary, through Hoover Middle School, and on to Lincoln High. Scott was a southpaw pitcher, and younger brother Matt was his catcher.

In fact, Scott’s delivery on the lanes has a Barry Zito curve, and Matt’s bowling style resembles a catcher’s powerful throw to second base.

As students at San Francisco State University, the twins continued to reside in their nearby childhood home.

“They’ve stayed out of trouble. I think that bowling had a lot to do with it. It kept them off the streets, kept them busy,” father Tom said.

The Higa’s continue to live as a family unit. Scott moved downstairs with wife Annie after they got married. Naturally, he introduced Annie to bowling, and she sports a 147 average.

“As soon as Emma can walk, she’ll bowl,” Scott said of his newborn daughter.

The family bowls every Tuesday night in the Nikkei Invitational Leagues at Serra. Last winter, they compiled very respectable game averages: Judy 163, Tom 170, Matt 206 and Scott 211.

The brothers are so in sync, they even experienced their career highlights within two days of each other. Matt bowled a perfect 300 on a Tuesday night last January at Serra and, two days earlier, Scott had bowled an 800 series (276 average game).

Asked what makes a good bowler, Matt responded, “practice and patience are key.” Scott finishes his brother’s statement by adding, “It’s not a physical game; you don’t have to be big or strong. It’s something that everyone can do.”


Turkey Bowl IX

Where: Serra Bowl, 3301 Juniperra Serra Blvd., Daly City

When: Nov. 24, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Cost: Free (Donations accepted)

Schedule: 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.: Pro bowler zany trick shots; 10:15 a.m.: Friars from St. Anthony Dining Room bowling in their robes;
1 p.m.: Competitive lightning round of strikes by pro bowlers

Info: or (650) 992-3444


Other SportsPersonal BestsportsTurkey Bowl

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

A cyclist heads past an artistic sign onto Page Street, a Slow Street, at Stanyan Street near Golden Gate Park on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Push to make street closures permanent meets with resistance

Hastily thrown together during the pandemic, Slow Streets program now struggles to build support

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Three people killed in SF shootings in less than 24 hours

San Francisco police were scrambling Saturday to respond to a series of… Continue reading

Muni operator Angel Carvajal drives the popular boat tram following a news conference celebrating the return of the historic F-line and subway service on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor, transit officials celebrate return of Muni service

Mayor London Breed and city transit officials gathered Friday to welcome the… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Most Read