Above: T. Bastidas during a visit to the Grand Canyon in September 2010.
Tyree Bastidas is no longer eligible to play at the USHA juniors nationals. He recently turned 20 and wants to share some valuable information with all junior players.
“It wasn’t easy to win every tournament on my way” said Tyree. The only reason I was successful during my teen years was because I attended as many USHA tournaments as possible. In these tournaments, I learned to play at a high level by playing with the best players in the country and abroad.
I know there are a lot of young players out there, who are champions in their communities, but never bother to travel to play at the USHA tournaments for various reasons. By not playing in the USHA juniors tournaments, they will never find out how good they are, and always will be remembered only as community or local champions.
If money is the problem, join a handball team that can sponsor you. If your parents can’t come up with the travel expenses, have your entire family rally behind you. Ask your uncle for help, ask your aunt, ask your friends and even your coach, if you have one.
Traveling is not cheap, but once you start attending tournaments you will meet your new friends. These new friends would probably be the same friends you will see in other tournaments. Invite them to stay at your house when they come to the handball tourney in your area, they will probably invite you to stay over their house too.
If you need a partner, call the USHA office. The USHA office personnel are there to help. The only reason the USHA exists is to help you and to help promote the game.
Getting in touch with handball players has become easier than before. You can either email, call or text message just about everybody in the handball community. There shouldn’t be a reason for you not to play or not to keep in touch with your handball friends at the USHA tournaments.
Once you start attending the 1-, 3-, and 4-wall USHA championships, your level of play will skyrocket in a short period of time.
If your are traveling to the junior national tournaments, you might get some money assistance from the "Joe Ardito Travel Fund" Call the USHA for more information.
Remember; play as much as you can since you can only play in the junior divisions until you are 19. There isn’t much time to debate and decide. Don’t miss the action and the fun, play now.
2010 USHA National Three-Wall Championships – an injured Bastidas praises Chapman
Night-life at the USHA 3-wall nationals.
Tyree and David during the championship match.
Tyree Bastidas catches his breath after surviving two spectacular tiebreakers against L. Moreno and D. Fink. Because he had to play the toughest side of the draw, he ended up playing eight games in less than 48 hours, more than any other player in the Men's Open Singles division.
From upstart to finish, it’s Chapman
By Matt Krueger
With all the summer hype surrounding Tyree Bastidas, it was easy to lose the fact that David Chapman remains an almost unbeatable presence on a handball court.
Bastidas had captured the national one-wall open title in August and, still just 19, had picked up his final juniors one- and three-wall titles over the summer as well.
So the stage was set for a likely changing of the guard with the young upstart breaking through against one of the handball’s greatest champions in the open singles final of the USHA National Three-Wall championships over Labor Day weekend at the Lucas County Recreation Center in Maumee, Ohio.
But Chapman quickly closed the curtains on any such coronation, defeating Bastidas in two surprisingly uneventful games 21-11, 21-5.
The victory marked Chapman’s first three-wall title in 15 years and erased any contention that he is on the downhill side of a great playing career.
With previous champions Sean Lenning and Emmett Peixoto missing this year’s event with injuries, Chapman faced a field of talented young players on the rise.
Nikolai Nahorniak had turned heads with outstanding play on Chicago’ three-wall courts, and Luis Moreno owned a win over Chapman this summer in Kansas City.
Those who had doubted the longevity soon discovered they couldn’t bet against Chapman. He quickly broke down Nahorniak’s game in the quarterfinals, winning in two quick games. As Chapman was cooling down after picking apart Dane Szatkwoski in the semifinals, a fan approached him.
“Nice win,” he said. “My friend bet against you in the final tomorrow.”
An indifferent Chapman responded. “Why would he want to lose money?”
Even though Chapman missed the championship in a tiebreaker final last year against Peixoto, he had no extra motivation against Bastidas beyond his usual goal. “ I just want to win the title,” Chapman said “ I play to win every time I step on the court.”
Still brimming with the confidence and swagger he held when he started breaking in as a teenager, Chapman dominated the event wire to wire. Against Bastidas, he relentlessly pounded shots to the ceiling, keeping the youngster on defense.
Bastidas had trouble with the deep ball and could do little to turn the tables.
Bastidas, who acknowledged that winning the one-wall crown had boosted his confidence, opened the scoring off a Chapman hand error in the front court, But on the next serve, Chapman gained the sideout with a return deep down the right wall. An off-balance Bastidas returned the ball into the floor.
Chapman opened his serve game by placing a ball deep in the left corner that Bastidas easily scooped up for a return.
Chapman missed trying to place the ball back to the deeper edges of the court, but it was evident he was sparring with his opponent to best determine which areas of the court he could exploit.
The fourth series of the match was telling of Chapman’s strategy the rest of the way, as it consisted of 29 shots – only four of them inside 30 feet. Chapman won that rally when Bastidas hit the final shot beyond the long line. That sequence seemed to set the tone for the rest of the match.
It was exhausting to see Bastidas chase down each shot yet amazing to witness Chapman maneuvering his opponent over every inch of the court.
“My fist ceilings were very effective at setting up the kills shots,” Chapman said. “I felt my three-wall game was more well-rounded.”
Chapman continued to go to the well with deep rallies, keeping Bastidas on his heels en route to easy setups and more offensive opportunities.
“The ceiling was a problem for me,” Bastidas said.” H hit the ceiling shot with a lot of authority and pushed me very deep. I was running back and swinging forward with very little accuracy.”
Given Bastidas’ inability to adjust, Chapman cruised to the title without the anticipated drama many were expecting.
Perhaps Bastidas wasn’t quite ready to face a player with Chapman’s resume.
“There is no player than him,” Bastidas said. ’The level of intensity on the court with Dave is significantly higher than the other players. He is very focused and out to win – and he lets you know it.”
Many figured the younger Bastidas would outlast Chapman given the demands of playing outdoor matches over five days, but Bastidas showed signs of being spent.
“Well, it can’t rain all the time,” Bastidas said. ‘You can not always feel your best but only make the best out of it. I have no excuses; he played very well.”
Not 24 hours earlier, Bastidas had to survive a brutal semifinal with Luis Moreno, a player favored to win or at least make the final. Bastidas outlasted Moreno in an epic showdown between two of handballs brightest up-and-coming stars, prevailing 21-15, 19-21, 11-4
Or perhaps it was another tight contest in the quarters against David Fink in which Bastidas fought off match point to advance 21-19, 10-21, 11-10. That, coupled with the constant running forced by Chapman, may have pushed his stamina to the brink.
On the other side, Chapman looked fresh throughout the final and had plenty left in the tank to win the doubles for a slam.
“I’m hoping to be able to sustain this level until I reach 40,” said Chapman, who turned 35 this year. “I feel stronger than ever, and I continue to get in better shape.”
That Bastidas was only 4 years old when Chapman won his last 3-wall title is remarkable proof of his longevity and ability to play championship handball.
While Bastidas enjoyed a big summer, he plans to focus on getting better in four-wall in order to be a top player in all three disciplines of handball.
When he is not training or playing for a title, Chapman travels around the country to conduct handball clinics and promote Davechapmanhandball.com
“The three-wall nationals were again one of the best of the tournaments of the year,” Chapman said. “The USHA and Toledo Handball Club put on a great event.”
Above: Night-life at 3-Wallball tournament in Las Vegas.
Above: Night-life at 3-wall tournament. Tournament Director, D. Vincent (right) making sure things run smoothly.
Above from left: Bastidas is hitting the ball while he is up in the air, as Little, Moreno and Polanco follow the action.
2010 3-Wallball Championships – Chapman wins singles – Bastidas and Polanco win Doubles.
By Matt Stamp
Chapman endures heat, Moreno to win in Vegas
The player most capable of adjusting to the stifling Las Vegas heat and the unique portable courts figured to have the best chance to win the WOR/WPH World Three-Wall Ball Championships in September at the Stratosphere.
Current USHA national three-wall champ David Chapman was up for the challenge.
Chapman defeated Luis Moreno in the pro final 21-12, 15-21, 11-5. the top-seeded Chapman had to go through Abraham Montijo, Andy Nett and David Fink to reach the final.
Despite Chapman’s numerous national championships, Moreno has actually had a lot of success against him, including a semifinal three-wall singles match in Kansas City over the summer.
“I can’t remember the last time I lost to him, ”Moreno said. “It’s ok, though. I’ll get him next time.”
Chapman went to work quickly, utilizing his newest weapon, the natural hop serve to the left. Chapman had perfected this serve playing one-wall all summer, and the serve was nearly indefensible on the modified three-wall court. Moreno was forced to return from 4 feet off the court to his left, and Chapman was waiting to dump the ball into the right corner. Chapman cruised to a 21-12 first game win.
Moreno appeared to be frustrated early in the second game, and Chapman looked poised to claim the title. But leading 10-5, Chapman was drained by the heat, and Moreno was able to push him to the back of the court. Moreno dominated the second half of the game, winning 21-15.
In the tiebreaker, Chapman scored the first four points to re-establish the momentum, and Moreno began pressing. Moreno made a number of unforced errors, including hitting for serves out, and with the one-serve rule, this was very costly.
Chapman methodically capitalized on those errors to win the tiebreaker 11-5 and capture the title.
Tyree Bastidas and Willie Polanco came out on top in the small-ball doubles bracket’ The New York duo took out Moreno and Partner Tom Little in a very close doubles final 21-19, 21-20.
Bastidas/Polanco played very well to win the doubles over Moreno/Little. They played smart by hitting as much as they could to Little, who looked like he needed more side walls and a back wall.
The Women’s event featured a slam by this year’s revelation. Sandy Ng. She defeated Jessica Gawley in the singles 21-12, 21-15 and won the Women’s doubles round robin with Theresa McCourt.
In big ball, stealing the show was Samson Hernandez and the great play of the Southern Californians. SoCal dominated New York, with seven of the eight open singles quarterfinalists coming from California and an all-SoCal doubles final.
A highlight of the tournament came when Hernandez and Ricardo Ruiz teamed up to play Gabin Velazquez and Sal Duenas in the big-ball doubles final. Handball and racquetball fans were excited by the big-ball play and gathered to watch a great match under the lights. Ruiz/Hernandez won 21-6, 13-21, 11-2.
Tyree set a new record playing as a teenager in the Men's Open division of the USHA Four-Wall Northeast Regional Championships, and perhaps the best winning record in any USHA Regional Championship in the country.
He played with his brother Jurell to capture the Men's Open Doubles division
March 2008 Albany, NY, USHA Four-Wall Northeast Regional Championships, Men’ s Open Singles finalist
March 2009 Albany, NY, USHA Four-Wall Northeast Regional Championships, Men’ s Open Singles division.
March 2009 Albany, NY, USHA Four-Wall Northeast Regional Championships, Men’ s Open Doubles division.
March 2010 Albany, NY, USHA Four-Wall Northeast Regional Championships, Men’ s Open Singles division.
March 2010 Albany, NY, USHA Four-Wall Northeast Regional Championships, Men’ s Open Doubles division