Tyree Bastidas and Sandy Ng from the new generation of 1-wall players, practice together at the 3-wall New Jersey handball courts.
Since the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) started to cover the handball game in all three handball versions back in the 1920’s, New York players have been the players to beat across the nation.
Morty Alexander was the first teenager to win an open national title among all teenagers playing in the open in any handball version. He paved the way for other New York teenagers to follow his path and inspired other players in the US to keep on playing and trying. The result was a new wave of young players winning their first open title too.
Ruby Obert, Mark Levine and Joel Davidson became part of the elite “AAU teenager group” to win an open national title for the first time in any handball version.
Having more New York teenagers winning open titles in the history of the game is a strong sign that New York players work the hardest and play with the required talent and intensity to become a champion at such an early age.
Congratulations to all teenagers for having captured an open national title, and congratulations to all New York players for being the first teenager in the country to lead the nation in winning the most AAU and USHA national open championships:
1932 AAU 1-wall - Morty Alexander (age 16) from New York
1954 AAU 1-wall - Ruby Obert (age 19) from New York
1963 USHA 1-wall – Wally Ulbrich (age 18) from New York
1970 AAU 1-wall – Mark Levine (age18) from New York
1973 AAU 1-wall – Joel Davidson (age 17) from New York
1981 USHA 1-wall – Anna Calderon (age 16) from New York
1986 USHA 3-wall - Vince Munoz (age 16) from California
1992 USHA 4-wall - David Chapman (age 17) from California
1992 USHA 4-wall – Naty Alvarado Jr (age 18) from California
2003 USHA 3-wall – Sean Lenning (age 18) from Washington
2008 USHA 3-wall - Sarah Au (age 18) from New York
2010 USHA 1-wall - Sandy Ng (age 17) from New York
2010 USHA 1-wall - Tyree Bastidas (age 19) from New York
Photos by Scott Schilder
Nothing says American summer like a handball game on a sunny day. The handball season kicked off on June 18 and everybody enjoyed and played during the beautiful weather provided by Mother Nature.
A huge number of college students representing their college teams, traveled to Queens County to compete for the championship honors. The occasion marked the Annual 1-wall collegiate national competition held in New York State. There were two separate meets; one for boys and one for girls, with two different balls (big & small ball).
All players showed up on time to represent their college and played their match with pride and courage.
In the end, only the best players with familiar faces won their championship match. Danielle Daskalakis was the only player to slam.
Congratulations to the following winners:
2011 USHA Collegiate One-Wall National Championships
Men’s Open Singles (small ball) – Ariel Garcia
Women’s Open Singles (big ball) – Danielle Daskalakis
Men’s Open Singles (big ball) – Isaac Acosta
USHA all-time record holders, Tyree Bastidas and Joe Durso, amuse the crowd at the Coney Island handball courts.
On a cold, wind-swept week at Fridley, Minnesota, D. Chapman finally won his ninth national singles title.
Backed by a dominating performance in the Men’s singles division, Chapman totaled 42 points on his favor and 33 points against him, holding off S. Lenning for the title.
Healthy and fined tuned, three-time World champion, Fiona Shannon from Ireland, captured the Women’s division for the first time on American soil. She did not allow any player to score more than five points, except M. Daly, who scored eight points in the first game of the finals.
Shannon, the current World champion and winner of several Ireland national championships was unable to win the USHA national title in a previous attempt. This time she made sure she won the title and served notice that she’ll be vying for her fourth World title in her country, Ireland.
USHA record holders (nine singles titles):
Joe Durso (1-wall) – nine titles
Vic Hershkowitz (3- wall) – nine consecutive titles
David Chapman – 4-wall – nine-titles*
* Naty Alvarado is the current record holder in 4-wall with eleven singles titles.
The handball junior clinic is outlined in the Parks Department brochure and will be conducted primarily by pro player Tyree Bastidas, assisted by Midwood HS teammate Eric Brandman. It will be the first handball junior clinic given in the city by the youngest USHA national 1-wall open champion. Previously, he had run a handball junior clinic in the 2010 Canadian nationals, and had declined an offer to run a 1-wall junior clinic in the 2011 Canadian nationals due to his injury.
The Handball Junior Clinic is the brainchild of Coach Mike Watson, who negotiated with City officials to fill in the vacuum left behind by the young tennis players who refused to play and pay extra money for tennis lessons provided by tennis pros.
More details to come!
Tyree Bastidas serves the ball to his classmate during practice hours at Midwood handball courts.
Brooklyn high school students were honored with the Wingate awards, which were given to the most accomplished students in their senior year. Midwood residents took home multiple honors.
Midwood handball player Jack Wong of the boys team, and Serena Wu of the girls team earned the prestigious Awards given out at St Francis College during the Wingate Award Ceremony.
It was not the first time, Midwood students had become the recipients of the Wingate Awards. Jurell Bastidas was the recipient of the Award in 2004.
Above: D. Rojas hits the pump ball during the preliminary games
Above:Tyree Bastidas holds off defending champion Mike Schneider.
Above: Jurell Bastidas hits the ball during a rally with Cesar Sala in the quarterfinals.
The 2011 Red Bull tournament became an instant success for the second year in a row. It had to limit entries in the four divisions it offered as to many players descended on the courts to play for the prize money.
On June 26, the Men’s singles (small ball) had to be capped at 32, while the Men’s singles (pump ball) had to be limited to 16 players.
On June 27, the Men’s singles division (big ball) had to be capped at 32 players, while the Women’s doubles divisions (big ball) also had to be limited to 32 teams.
It was an incredible turnout that kept the action going all day long. “It was bigger and better than last year’s” said Albert Apuzzi.
Congratulations to all players for pulling out one of the best handball tournament of the year, and congratulations to the following winners:
Men’s singles open division (small ball): W. Polanco
Men’s singles open division (big ball): G. Vasquez
Men’s singles open division (pump ball): D. Rojas
Women’s doubles open division (big ball): Team Jessica/Ruby