No matter how tough and long this tournament is, it only takes place during one day (Saturday). It’s been a tradition since its inception in 1998.
But in the past two years since Tyree Bastidas announced his arrival at the KOTC, the tournament has been forced to be played during the entire weekend to accommodate a record number of players never seen before.
But regardless of the amount of players, Tyree has managed to survive the brutal slaughter that took place during the first day of the tournament in the past two years. For two consecutive years, he has been able to come back in the final day to continue fighting along the best big ball players.
The big ball game may not be Tyree's best game, but If there is any doubt about his skills with the big ball, people shouldn't hesitate and go to the King of the Courts tournament and watch him play in the final rounds.
He has also lived-up to everyone’s expectations and validated his high seeding by finishing among the best players of the big ball game.
Photos by Keith Thode
The people working tireless at the grill during the five day handball marathon have always been a staple at the tournament and have always been there to help anyone when it comes to food and beverages.
‘Bring your friends and family,’ has always been the motto at the hospitality tent. What other tournament in the U.S. welcomes players, family and friends in such a fashion? None, the 3-wall nationals in Ohio is the only tournament where people actually enjoy breakfast and lunch. Not to mention the big Saturday night Banquet and beverages that are served every day all day long.
The grill tradition is original from Maumee and is not a carry-over tradition from previous 3-wall nationals that took place in other states.
We asked Keith Thode, one of the oldest players of the 3-wall game who used to attend the 3-wall nationals since it started in Detroit, Michigan back in the 50’s. When did the grill tradition start and who is in charge of it?
When the 3-wall nationals started in Michigan we didn’t have the grill. I don’t know about Columbus, Ohio when the 3-wll nationals moved there. I didn’t attend.
I don't know all of them by name. Mike is in charge. He's in the red shirt. Jason, on the left still plays and is a good B player. His dad is in the middle. Others used to play but don't anymore. There have been deaths (one not natural). Some have dropped out and others added along the way.
Thanks to the staff at the grill for taking care of everyone.
Photos by Sean Delevan
The eternal rivalry among 1-wall high school handball players never ceases to amaze. This year the rivalry pitted two good players considered power players in the PSAL: Eugene Lau and Darren Chin, who have been playing against each other in the past couple of years. Both players have even played together as a team in open competition and they are destined to excel in the USHA 1-wall nationals soon.
For the past twelve years only one player has been able to win the singles competition three years in a row. Will another player repeat?
The following list outlines the outcomes of the boy’s singles competition:
2003 Victor LoPierre defeated Mehdi Majumder
2004 Jurell Bastidas defeated Jonathan Iglesias.
2005 Stan Zavoyskly defeated Mike Leung
2006 Stan Zavoyskly defeated Johnny Galarza
2007 Alex Gavryushenko – defeated Christo Lee
2008 Tyree Bastidas defeated Michael Wu
2009 Frank Mai defeated Joshua Garcia
2010 Joshua Garcia defeated Frank Mai
2011 Tom Mileczkowski defeated David Pazanin
2012 Tom Mileczkowski defeated Michael Zhou
2013 Tom Mileczkowski defeated Darren Chin
2014 Eugene Lau defeated Darren Chin
Jurell and Cesar played the most interesting and longest quarter final in the bottom draw.
Mr. Sala came out firing in the first game that was captured on his favor.
The second game was also close and less dramatic, but Jurell made sure he won it.
The third game was the most dramatic as both players kept diving for every ball to return back to the court. None of the players wanted to lose and both wanted to advance to the semis. In the end Jurell played better than his previous two games and kill every ball he need it to kill to win.. The result was a tiebreaker winning by Jurell Bastidas. It marked the first time Jurell had reached the semis while Cesar hasn’t made the semis since 2012.
Congratulations to both players.
From l: Former national champions Eric Klarman and Paul Williams.
Paul Williams, a former national champion and a Kendler Award recipient was inducted into the Hall as a Contributor. With a great sense of anticipation, excitement and humility, P. Williams accepted the Award from the United States Handball Association on July 14, 2014.
Mike Steele, President of the Association was present to celebrate on this special occasion where the former national champion got a high recognition from the Association for the second time.
“Paul is probably the biggest handball contributor in our sport here in New York” Dan Flicktein said.
We have previously asked Mr. Williams: how much longer is he going to keep running handball tournaments?
“I’ve been doing it for so many years; it’s time for me to take a break.” Williams said.
“Some ICHA members are already running some of the tournaments and little by little I hope to see more handball players getting involved on running the other tournaments.”
Paul Williams doesn’t just run 1- wall tournaments with the small and the big ball; he also runs 4- wall events with the small and the big ball.
Congratulations to Paul Williams.