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Laurance challenges students in pool

By Wade Allen
Oct. 15, 2009

Ewa Laurance
Photo by Wade Allen
Ewa Laurance shoots pool on Sept. 30 in the Hawk’s Nest Game
Room in the U.C. She signed autographs following her exhibition.
Famed billiard player Ewa Laurance, known worldwide as “The Striking Viking,” appeared in front of more than 100 people in the Hawk’s Nest Game Room in the U.C. on Sept. 30, as an event planned during Homecoming week.

Challenge matches She performed an exhibition, offered challenge matches with students and gave everyone in attendance 8x10 autographed color pictures to take home as souvenirs.

“She was really engaging and open with the students,” University Center Director Cynthia Oxendine said. “We had a lot of participation from staff, faculty, students and several members of the community.”

Laurance is a worldrenowned billiard player and has been a color commentator for ESPN and host of The Game Show Network’s show “Ball Breakers.”

Considering the current budget situation, the fact that Laurance resides in Myrtle Beach, S.C., helped UNCP get the exhibition, according to Oxendine.

“She was not as expensive,” Oxendine said. “Since she was centrally located, she did give us a discount.”

The event was sponsored by the University Center and, according to Oxendine, had been in the planning stages since summer 2009.;

“We wanted someone different. The fact that she was from Myrtle Beach helped. She was really centrally located,” Oxendine said.

Laurance has been named best billiard player in the world several times, authored three books concerning the sport and was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s hall of fame in 2004.

Swedish descent
Although Laurance currently lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with her husband, she was born in Gavle, Sweden.

In 1981, she visited New York to compete in the billiard world championship. After the championship, she remained in the United States and became a U.S. citizen.


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Updated: Saturday, October 17, 2009
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