"Best Of" USHA Online Poll - Best Handball Feats of 2010 - Bastidas’ accomplishments voted as the best feat of 2010 – junior handball journey comes to a successful end
Above: Tyree Bastidas playing as a teenager, gets ready to return the ball at the 3-wall nationals as he goes undefeated in the longest winning stretch at the USHA outdoor season.
Picture courtesy of Keith Thode
American handball star Tyree Bastidas has cracked the list of the top 10 best sport moments of the year for the second time and was voted No. 1 in the USHA online Poll, as announced on January of 2011 by the United States Handball Association.
“It’s a terrific honor to be recognized by the end of the year” said T. Bastidas.
Tyree Bastidas lost 1 out of 21 matches during his extraordinary run during the 2010 USHA outdoor handball season. He couldn’t perform 100% during his last match due to his injured right hand. His loss during the longest winning stretch in handball history made him the youngest Open player to accomplish this feat and barely mattered to voters, who followed his games throughout the year.
Bastidas, whose production before his injury was nothing short of transcendent, played five USHA national championships. He captured the first four championships, including the 1-wall Open Men’s Singles division and reached the championship match at the 3-wall Open Men’s Singles division with an injured hand.
He collected 29% of the votes as announced on January 10, 2011, beating Paul Brady from Ireland, who received 21%.
Allan Garner from Texas reached third place by capturing 15% of the votes, while Irish players, Ducksy Walsh and Tom Sheridan accumulated 13% of the votes to take fourth place.
Sandy Ng from New York garnered enough votes to secure fifth place, while David Chapman received nods from only 5%, falling far short of the 20% approval threshold needed to compete for the first two places.
For Bastidas, the top honor represents another milepost in his three-year transformation when he played in the Open at the 1-wall nationals for the first time in 2008. Bastidas learned to play with the small ball in 2004 and is the current Open national champion.
It’s interesting to know there were four Women’s accomplishments nominated for the year, one more than last year’s and a vast improvement overall.
Congratulations to all the players who made the list with their extraordinary effort, dedication, and hard work.
The USHA proudly presents the best moment or feat of 2010
What was your favorite handball moment or feat of 2010?
Bastidas Breaks Through; Wins 1-Wall Nationals, 1-Wall Juniors and 3-Wall Juniors
Brady Wins his 6th Consecutive US National 4-Wall Title
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Allan Garner's U.S. Open Magic; Defeats Chapman in a Tiebreaker
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Sheridan and Walsh Win the US National Open Doubles Against All Odds
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Ng, 19, Slams at USHA 1-Wall Nationals
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Chapman Slams in Toledo; First 3-Wall Open Title Since 1995
Lake Forest Dominates at USHA National Collegiate
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Reilly Begins Potential Dynasty; Slams at US Nationals
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Schmitt Outlasts the Young Guns at the Women's Classic
Davis Ends Mehilos' Streak in Toledo
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Above: T. Bastidas executing a shot as E. Peixoto watches the action from the back during a match at the USHA 1-wall nationals.
Picture courtesy of Keith Thode.
E. Peixoto and T. Bastidas are the rising stars of the new century and while Bastidas’ achievements were accomplished as a junior player, Peixoto’s achievements were accomplished as an open player.
The following list details some of the most important facts in handball that both handball players share:
1.- As Junior players, E. Peixoto and T. Bastidas captured National Titles in either 1-, 3- or 4-wall.
2.- E. Peixoto and T. Bastidas won National Titles in either 3- or 4-Wall in 2006
3.- E. Peixoto and T. Bastidas won U.S. and Canadian National Titles in 2007.
4.- E. Peixoto and T. Bastidas reached the championship match of the Canadian National 4-wall Men’s Doubles division in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
5.- E. Peixoto and T. Bastidas reached the finals of the prestigious Boston Open Handball Tournament.
6.- E. Peixoto and T. Bastidas played at the 2008 USHA National 4-Wall championships. They met again at the 2008 Mayor‘s Cup 1-wall championships, the 2008 USHA National 1-wall championships and at the 2008 U.S. Open - Simple Green
7.- They both have reached the championship match of at least two Open national championships in more than one handball version
8.- Emmett and Tyree are the youngest players to have captured three National Titles in three different countries within a year.
9.- The both have captured Open national titles in the Men's Singles division.
10.- They are the hope and future of Handball.
11.- They are currently the best handball representation of their age group, Tyree (teens), Emmett (twenties).
Long Island Open 2011 – Fink survives tiebreaker – acknowledges Bastidas' improvement – Bastidas and Fink treat handball fans to another thrilling tiebreaker – Fink invited to 1-wall nationals.
Above: Handball fans wait patiently for Bastidas and Fink to play.Above: D. Fink dives ferociously to retrieve a ball in a desperate attempt to mount a comeback during the first game.
Above: D. Fink (sitting) promoting the game and showing handball games by using a movie projector.
Paul Williams, President and founder of the ICHA made sure the tournament ran smoothly as it was held during a week where New York was buried in heavy snow, but still managed to attract at least five national open champions.
Competition started Friday night and included more than 100 players coming from different States, as the L.I.O. handball tournament celebrated its 30th year anniversary.
The Men’s Open division featured the classic rivalry between Fink and Bastidas, who have captured everyone’s imagination since their last epic battle at the 3-wall nationals in 2010. Love them or hate them, their rivalry has transformed into the talk of the sport thanks to their hard-fought matches, drama and over reaction on the court.
Earlier in the day, T. Bastidas toppled Cesar Sala, one of the best players of this generation, while D. Fink defeated Ariel Garcia in two games. There was a lot of suspense or excitement building up for Bastidas and Fink’s match.
Handball fans had learned in the middle of the week that Bastidas and Fink’s match wasn’t going to take place on Sunday as expected, and decided to flock to the tournament on Saturday afternoon to watch the real championship match ahead of schedule, and played as a semifinals match.
During the first game, in a show of authority that raised some eyebrows, Bastidas practically demolished Fink in what most fans called it a blowout. Fink was very surprised and couldn’t comeback to what appeared to be an insurmountable score, as Bastidas became the only New York player to have taken a game from him. No other New York player has ever taken Fink to a tiebreaker at a four-wall tournament.
There was more evidence that 1-wall national champion, Tyree Bastidas is building a solid 4-wall game for the future, as he threw a major scare into USHA seventh- ranked Fink before finally collapsing from exhaustion in the final moments of an 11-5 loss before a rocking big crowd at the SporTime Club. Fink provided just enough breathing room to hold off an ambitious, improving Bastidas who refused to fade away.
Tyree was asked about his strategy for the match “I made sure I won the first game and tried to get David tired during the second game and save energy for the third game, but I tried to hard during the first game and that took a lot of energy out of me” said Tyree.
“In the end, I was happy with the results, as I proved to my fans and to myself that I could take on the top 4-wall players when I really try hard by playing with energy and fire” added Tyree.
“Tyree has improved a lot in 4-wall” said David, who went on to win the tournament on Sunday morning in two games. Fink, when is not playing, he is walking around promoting the game and signing up new members. He holds handball clinics and sells handball gear and Dvd’s. He is a true handball ambassador for the game.
Despite the outcome, this was a huge step forward for Bastidas. He showed he could be competitive against the best 4-wall players in the country, even though he has limited opportunities to play top ranked 4-wall players in New York.
Now that both players have finished their 3-and 4-wall matches in thrilling tiebreakers, handball fans are wondering if D. Fink would come to New York to challenge T. Bastidas in 1-wall to finish their tiebreaker handball odyssey that started in the summer of 2010 at the 3-wall nationals.
“I hope David comes to the 2011 USHA 1-wall nationals. It’ll be interesting and fun if we meet and play in the only handball version that we haven’t played each other yet. If he does come, he can stay in my house. I hope he accepts my invitation” said Tyree.
Above:Tyree Bastidas gets ready to play 4-wall during the 2008 season.
Above: Bastidas returns the ball during 3-wall jr nationals in 2008.
It’s hard to imagine a sport that hasn’t been affected by the recent economic downturn. Recently, America’s past time “baseball” saw another sharp decline in attendance, despite the fact that billions of dollars have been invested to attract a larger audience.
In the Northeast alone, billions of dollars were spent to build two brand new state of the art baseball stadiums in New York to attract more baseball fans, with negative results. It seems that baseball has become just that, America’s past.
More and more people are finding out about others sports that are worth practicing because of the health benefits that bring to them. “Many times, Americans have been told to wake up.” said Tyree “Americans don’t know what they’re missing when it comes to other sports”
Lately, more people are straying from baseball, a boring game that only serves and benefits the sports media owners.
For many years during the last century, the sport of handball used to be played by millions of people across the country but it never took off like baseball because the sports media owners never really saw a big financial gain out of it. They decided to showcase the sport of baseball because it was a slow pace game for most of the time, and that gave them plenty of opportunities to advertise and make money.
Although the sport of handball might not bring as much money to the television media’s coffers as baseball does, it brings more health personal benefits to the players. This is not what the television media owners were looking for. They were looking for a sport that could bring them plenty of cash, and baseball fit their bill, regardless of how boring the sport was.
“Why would people want to watch a baseball game where most of the players spend more time on the bench than on the field” says Tyree.
On the other hand, the last World Handball Championships in Portland, Oregon in 2009 saw a record participation of almost 1,000 players from many countries around the world. It proved once again, it appealed to the masses even during the worst economic downturn in the U.S.
Handball has always been recommended by personal trainers, coaches and sports gurus. To this date, handball has always been ranked among the best sports that bring positive health benefits to the players.
Tyree Bastidas, the best junior handball player of the game, has always been a strong advocate for handball, he’s seen the benefits himself and is always recommending handball as medicine for most people.” I had played almost every sport when I was a kid, and if I have to do it again, I wouldn’t waste my time playing other sports. I rather play handball for the rest of my life” says Tyree.