Tyree Bastidas, the youngest handball player in any handball version to slam at the world championships with the small ball, lost his hope to continue capturing at least one open title in every national or world championship he had competed since he won the worlds in 2012.
The writing may have already been on the wall, but Bastidas was refusing to read it.
On June 2014, Bastidas was unable to defend his title as he lost a close tiebreaker (8-11) during the semifinals men’s open doubles at the USHA 4-wall championships in Minneapolis. He didn’t compete in the men’s singles for safety precautions due to a hand injury suffered during the spring season.
Tyree Bastidas remains as the only player in the world to have won seven different open titles by playing all three handball versions.
There are only a handful of players who have had great handball runs like Tyree, but none of those runs involve winnings in all three handball codes in three different countries, and on three different continents.
Congratulations to Tyree for another great Milestone:
2012 – World Handball Championships – 1-wall open singles champion.
2012 – World Handball Championships – 1-wall open doubles champion.
2013 – USHA Four-Wall Championships - 4-wall open doubles champion.
2013 – USHA Three-Wall Championships - 3-wall open singles champion.
2013 – USHA One-Wall Championships - 1-wall open singles champion.
2013 – WPH 3-WallBall World Championships -1-wall open singles champ
2014 – Australian Three-Wall Open – 3-wall open singles champion.
2014 – USHA Four-Wall Championships - 4-wall open doubles semifinalist
Photos by Sean Delevan
The final game went on as Tyree had planned the day before the finals.
We asked Tyree on Saturday July 19: What was his strategy to beat Gio in the final game?
“I’m just going to play my game and ignore his yelling and cursing throughout the entire match” Tyree said.
“Basically, I’m just going to give him the silent treatment by letting him complain and scream all he wants”
On July 20 and after the championship match, we asked Tyree again: How did his strategy work?
“I did as I said I would do. I didn’t say a word. I felt like I was playing with a piece of duct tape across my mouth” Tyree said.
“Because I ignored him completely, Gio’s frustration was channeled towards the referee during the last two games. Gio just doesn’t understand, I come here to play, not to run my mouth”
It has always been a difficult task to look for a doubles partner. Sometimes both players are compatible with each other’s game and sometimes it’s just a disaster waiting to happen. But for Kendell Lewis and Casey Mayo it was blessing via USHA through Vern Roberts.
“Back in 1996-1997, I was looking for a doubles partner and Vern told me that Casey Mayo from Ohio was also looking for a partner, and ever since then we have been playing together” Lewis recalls.
The first time we saw team K. Lewis/C. Mayo play at the 3-wall nationals was in 2005. We were impressed to see two big men pounding the ball as hard as they could and running as fast as their young opponents. Team Lewis/Mayo was playing against two junior champions: Victor LoPierre and Braulio Ruiz.
Team Kendell Lewis and Casey Mayo is one of the few team in the Association to have enjoyed a long and successful handball career in the men’s open. They have played the best teams in the last twenty years “We have played Vince Munoz, Tati Silveyra, Dave Dohman, John Bike Jr, Marcos Chavez, etc.” K. Lewis said.
Team Lewis/Mayo is probably one of the few teams in the USHA to have played the longest as a team.
Congratulations to Kendell Lewis and Casey Mayo.
Bottom Photo by Bill Fand.
California has always been the leading State when it comes to USHA membership, followed by New York State. And for many years the ratio among CA and NY has always been 3 to 1. But according to the USHA magazine, published during the spring handball season, that ratio was not longer valid as it shows New York State, trailing California by a slim margin (198 players). Where did the Californian players go? Or should we ask; why New York membership has spiked?
As USHA membership has steadily declined in the last ten years, the Association has made Herculean efforts to promote outdoor events that have drawn New York players back into the game.
New York membership has also overtaken Texas, which has far more population than NY, and is a hot-bed for outdoor handball competition.
The current list shows the States with the most population representing the main USHA Regions:
California (west) – 38 million (approx)
Texas (central) – 25 million (approx)
New York (east) – 19 million (approx)
We were watching the match of Armando Ortiz and Mike Dorneker at the same time the match of Billy O’Donnell and Will Lemp was taking place.
Ortiz and Dorneker’s match ended in a tiebreaker on court 7 and the match of Tyree Bastidas and Loren Collado’s game was called to be played also on court 7, while O’Donnell and Lemp’s game continued on court 6.
Bastidas and Collado’s match also ended while O’Donnell and Lemp’s game continued on court 6.
Another game was called on court 7, but our attention was now diverted to the match of O’Donnell and Lemp. We wanted to know what was taking so long to finish this long battle that had also caught everyone’s attention.
We watched the game for about half an hour when we realized they have been playing for 2 ½ hours with two similar scores of 21-19, on O’Donnell's favor.
Tyree Bastidas was supposed to play the winner of this match the following day when Will Lemp approached us “Tyree should be able to easily beat Billy tomorrow morning. I got Billy tired for him” Will said with a broad smile.