Top Photo - Tyree Bastidas and Canadian partner, Ryan Bowler (back) play doubles against Irish Team: Sean Kerr/Tadhg O Neill. Bottom Photo - Tyree Bastidas and Armando Ortiz posing for our camera in 2016.
Armando Ortiz and Tyree Bastidas, the two youngest champions to have captured the USHA 4-wall doubles title in 2011 and 2013, respectively, are youngest in the 21st century.
Both players surprised the handball world as follow:
Armando Ortiz, mainly a 3-and 4-wall player, had captured junior titles in the handball versions mentioned-above at the USHA junior championships, but after he ended his junior participation he went through heart surgery and later on decided to compete at the 4-wall nationals held in Friedley, MN in 2011.
In 2011, Mr. Ortiz's participation in the WPH 4-wall Pro-tour payed off when he and his partner Sean Lenning defeated Tim Labey and Andy Nett in the semifinals. The following day they defeated Dave Chapman and Emmett Peixoto to claim the doubles title.
Tyree Bastidas, a 1-wall specialist, racked-up the most national juniors titles in the association and became the youngest player to capture the most USHA 1-wall open singles titles by the age of 24.
Bastidas' participation in the USHA Grand national Series payed off when he and his partner Nick Nahorniack defeated: Emmett Peixoto and Andy Nett.
In 2013, armed with confidence and plenty of four-wall practice, he went out of his way with his partner Nick Nahorniack to challenge the best 4-wall players in the USHA 4-wall nationals held in Des Moines, IA. Tyree and Nick reached the finals by defeating Irish champions Diarman Nash and Martin Mulkerrins. The following day they defeated Emmett Peixoto and Andy Nett in a long and tough match to claim the 4-wall crown.
Photo by USHA - Ruby Obert (l) and Satish Jagnandan (c).
Myth – The oldest players to win an open singles title are: Angelo Trulio and Al Torres, both at 39.
Fact – The oldest players to win an open singles title are: Steve Sandler (41) and Ruby Obert at 40.
The 3-wall national championships has been the main venue where Team Bastidas has faced more teams of brothers during their handball journey in the last five years.
Playing against other teams hasn't been easy for team Bastidas as they have tasted victory and defeat either in the semifinals or the championship match.
This year Team Bastidas faced Team Lemus from Chicago in another challenging game that brought the audience to its feet during a fast and furious game.
Jurell Bastidas and Marco Lemus were absent from 3-wall competition last year, but they made up by going out of their way when playing against each other, and although Chicago teams are always cheered up by a large audience, team Bastidas somehow managed to walked away with the victory.
Congratulations to both Teams: Jurell and Tyree Bastidas & Carlos and Marco Lemus.
One of the best games at the 1-wall big ball event was played on court #3 at the Coney Island handball courts where two experienced wallballers: Kadeem Bush and Fabrizio Alvarez, delivered a spectacular one-hour show that kept the audience cheering both players throughout the entire game.
K. Bush and F. Alvarez are very well-known players in the big ball handball world and that's why we weren't surprised they delivered a top quality game at the national level.
Granted, there is a big age gap difference among both players (10 years), but that didn't stop either player from performing their best. Eventually, Mr. Bush won the game and a pass to the next round. Congratulations to both players.