Pictures of teenager superstar handball player Tyree Bastidas started to surface all over NYC Parks since 2009 to promote the game and to celebrate his great achievements in all three handball versions.
A lot of great things have been said about the most versatile handball players, and now that most of them have been inducted into the Handball Hall of Fame a great many more accolades will come their way.
It has been documented that only players from New York have won national one-, three- and four-wall titles at the AAU and USHA championships. They have dominated the handball circle at home and abroad for more than 60 years. Their records speak for itself, and their versatility have marked them as some of the great players of all-time.
Rosemarie Bellini is also the first women in the history of the game to have accomplished this feat at the open level*.
To top off this incredible accomplishment, New York teenagers Eric Klarman and Tyree Bastidas also became the only players to win the national juniors singles titles in all three handball versions in the same year.
To be considered among the most versatile players in the handball sport, one has to play and win in all three handball versions of the game. To win only the 3- and/or 4-wall championships is to limit your handball skills and your winnings to those handball versions.
Congratulations to the most versatile players in the history of the game:
* Priscilla Shumate from Brazil is the second woman to win the (1-, 3-, and 4-wall championships) in the same year.
Above: Michael Wu, representing Stuyvesant HS, plays his best in his last year of eligibility in the championship match of the 2008 PSAL singles event. Here, he is pushing defending champion T. Bastidas off the court in his last attempt to dethrone the PSAL King.
The Boys and Girls handball playoff are finally here. The best high school handball teams from all five boroughs in New York City will play against each other starting on May 12, 2011, but only two teams will survive the long grueling elimination to emerge as the best teams to fight for the championship title by the end of May.
The PSAL is one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that helps organize sports for high schools students. Handball was introduced as a high school competition right after World War I and ever since then it has become the best and the largest handball high school competition in the country.
Tyree Bastidas led his Midwood HS team to the championship match on several occasions during the first decade of the century.
Above from left: D. Fink listens during the NYAC tournament as Paul Brady looks on. Photo by WPH
Handball players from around the country and from Ireland came to play at the 40th anniversary of this fantastic handball tournament that took place at the historic NYAC (New York Athletic Club) on April 30, 2011.
Some of the best players of the game who have participated at this prestigious event are: Paul Haber, The Obert brothers, Jim Jacobs, Lou Russo, Vic Hershkowitz, Fred Lewis, Marty Decatur, Naty Alvarado, etc, etc.
This year, the NYAC, under the leadership of John Moran went out of its way to celebrate this special event by sponsoring the current USHA national 1- and 4-wall open champions: Tyree Bastidas and Paul Brady. Both players have made it to the finals in previous years. Unfortunately, both players were hurt prior to the tournament and didn’t want to risk any further injury.
The tournament went ahead surrounded by handball fans throughout the whole weekend. It included the great hospitality, the cocktail hour and the traditional banquet on Saturday night.
David Fink from the WPH covered the event by taking pictures, gathering footage, doing updates and interviews.
Sean Lenning won the Men’s open singles by defeating David Chapman in two games, while Billy O’Donnell and Mike Schneider took the doubles defeating Jurell Bastidas and Cesar Sala in three games. This is the second consecutive year that one of the brothers Bastidas makes it to the final.
In the women’s bracket, Megan Mehilos defeated Tracy Davis fort the title. There were NYAC-sponsored players in the finals in all three open divisions.
Mr Burth Kossoff was an avid handball player and a supporter of the handball community. The event was made possible by the generosity of Mrs Kossoff.
Above: Tyree Bastidas might not be ready to play at the 1-wall nationals in the summer.
Bastidas has discovered a definitive reason about what’s been wrong with him. Additional testing revealed further damage to Bastidas’ injury and if a second opinion confirms the original diagnosis, he will need to rest at least an additional 30 days, Doctor K. Islam said during a regular check.
“I thought going in (to the tests), it was going to be a routine thing,” said Bastidas, who originally injured his foot during a 4-wall training “The doctor wanted me to get more x-rays for sometime now, and I kind of – I won’t say put it off – but I felt like it was getting better…….So I was shocked when my doctor told me the bad news.
“I’ve played through other injuries before, so I’m not scared, by any means,” Bastidas said. “Hopefully, I’ll get this knock out in a month and be right back at it. I’m more frustrated and disappointed knowing I can’t start handball training until the end of June.”Because Bastidas won't start handball training any time soon, there is a great possibility that he’ll miss all 1-wall tournaments during the month of July and will hope to be ready just to defend his title as the current open national champion.
Above: T. Bastidas takes advantage of his inactivity to spend more time with his little sister.
What is a handball player suppose to do when he/she can’t play a handball game? This is the dilemma that Bastidas had to face at home after he got hurt during the winter. He could have turned his initial frustration into anger. But he never has. “I’m learning you have to be patient,” he said “It’s all come back. It takes time. I’m young and healthy. My foot just needs to heal itself.”
After taking a look around his room, he picked up his iPod Touch and said “I might not be able to use my hands to play handball, but I could sure use my fingers to create music”.
Bastidas has kept busy creating music day and night through a program he downloaded to his iPod Touch. He has already uploaded some of his songs and will keep updating his music library in the future. His music has been very inspirational to him and has been the main reason to create more music though a different instrument.
Bastidas, who has also learned how to play the piano on his own, has also created new songs that will be uploaded to a new site. Stay tuned and enjoy!