Handball player for life.

2007 USHA National Juniors Four-Wall Championships - Nash defeated in semi-final - Tyree marches into finals.

Above: Bastidas is up in the air against D. Nash(Ireland) during semi-finals

Irish hopes of a title in the boys’ section of the USHA Junior Nationals in Tucson, Arizona were dashed on Friday when Clare’s Diarmaid Nash became the third Irish casualty forced out of the singles competition.

In the 17 and Under semi-final, Nash came up against number one seed Tyree Bastidas and the New Yorker proved too strong for the Bannerman.

Bastidas started the game strongly, but Nash kept with the favourite and was unfortunate not to take the opening game as he ended up losing by two aces, 21-19.

In the second game, the Tuamgraney handballer played some impressive handball to force the game to a tiebreaker.

Bastidas kept his composure to seal his final place, and break Irish hearts as Nash looked to his semi-final doubles game for consolation.

Along with fellow Tuamgraney man, Niall Malone, the pair fought off the challenge of Mayo’s Stephen Cooney and his American partner, Jacob Leeson on a scoreline of 21-15, 21-13.

In the 19 and Under Boys Doubles semi-final, Kilkenny’s Richie Hogan was in action against Missouri’s Armando Ortiz and Ricardo Ruiz.

Along with Suhn Lee (Illinois), the pair battled to the death but eventually lost out to a very well-groomed outfit.

Fellow Kilkenny handballer, Clough’s Eoghan Hennessy put in a trojan performance in the 15 and Under Doubles semi-finals against number one seeds, Wicklow’s Keith Kavanagh and his long-term partner Brant Bidegain (California).

Hennessy battled his way back to a tiebreaker, and hit a superb killshot to take the game 11-10.

Meanwhile, the Irish girls will contest two finals today when Aisling Reilly (Belfast) meets Leona Doolin (Roscommon) in the 17s/19s Round Robin final.

Reilly defeated one of the top players on the US circuit Courtney Peixoto in an exhibition game yesterday afternoon and the current 17 and Under world champion looks likely to take the this 17s/19s crown.

The two Irish players will then pair up for the 19 and Under Doubles final where they face Canadian’s Kira Toxopeus and Pepukai Jones.

Cork’s Catriona Casey, the babyface assassin, continued to take no prisoners on her path to the final yesterday, as she destroyed Illinois’ Kaethe Kaufman 21-0, 21-0.

Casey now faces an exciting showdown with Ballaghaderreen’s Amy Corrigan in the final of the 13s/15s group.

Corrigan has also breezed through her earlier games and this looks set to be one of the best finals on offer.

Of the remaining Irish, Mayo’s Stephen Cooney lost out to 17 and Under finalist, Luis Cordova, while Niall Malone collected the 17 and Under B title.

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HANDBALL: Major boost for Irish Handball - Bastidas to challenge the best of Ireland on Irish soil.




T. Bastidas(USA) in action against N. Malone(IRE) at the USHA four-wall championships.


Feb 07, 2008

Wednesday, February 6.

The future of Irish handball received a massive boost this week with the announcement of a joint sponsorship deal for the 2008 Irish National Championships and All-Star Awards. Meath-based building services company, Envirogreen, and Resource, a leading Irish and UK based supplier of soft services, have combined to commit themselves to sponsoring both the National Championship Finals and All-Star Awards, which take place in Kilkenny on March 15th and 16th next.
“Envirogreen are delighted to be associated with Irish handball at a time where the future of the game looks so promising,” said former All-Ireland and World Handball Champion, Walter O’Connor, who is Managing Director of Envirogreen.
“We hope to drive the growth in handball forward and look forward to working with the Irish Handball Council to ensure that the ENVIROGREEN/RESOURCE Irish Nationals are a major success.”
O’Connor is one of only three handballers in history to have captured the Big Alley Grand Slam during his career. In 1998, the Kells player dominated the 60x30 championships, taking the senior softball and hardball titles in both singles and doubles, and when paired with fellow Meath clubman, Tom Sheridan, the duo were unstoppable. 
Now the highly successful Meath businessman is putting something back into a game he remains very passionate about.
“Handball is a game with incredible potential and over the next few years, we will see massive changes which will hopefully return the game to its former glory in Ireland” said O’Connor. 
Almost 350 handballers will compete in this year’s ENVIROGREEN/RESOURCE Irish Nationals, with qualifiers taking place around the country this weekend. This year’s event sees the largest ever female entry in both the Ladies Open and Ladies B sections, and indeed the highest ever entry with the exception of the 2006 World Championship Qualifiers.
In the Men’s Open section, Cork’s Tony Healy and Dublin’s Eoin Kennedy will look to take advantage of the absence of World Champion, Paul Brady in this year’s event. Cavan’s Brady is taking a few months out of handball following a hectic 2007 in which the current national champion dominated the domestic and international circuit.
American Tyree Bastidas, from New York, will also set the courts alight as he looks to continue the good form shown in the USHA Juniors.
“I expect there to be some heated battles in the qualifiers this weekend because the national finals stage is where every handballer wants to play,” said Irish Handball President, Tom Walsh.
“We are delighted that Envirogreen and Resource have come onboard to sponsor such a huge event in Irish Handball and are very excited about what the partnership can do for the future of the game.” At 20 venues across Ireland this Saturday and Sunday, Irish handballers will take that future into their own hands.

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Top guns take to the courts - 2007 U.S. 17-and-under national champion looks to repeat at the Irish Nationals





D. Nash(IRE) gets ready to hit the ball off the back wall as Bastidas(USA) looks on at the USHA National Juniors four-wall championships.


Handball Alley

Wednesday, 12 March 2008 15:28

Ireland’s top handballers will battle it out on the courts of Kilkenny and Carlow this weekend in the eagerly awaited Envirogreen Resource Irish National Finals.

At a photocall for the prestigious event, GAA President, Nickey Brennan, said that these were remarkable times in the future of Irish Handball. “The Envirogreen Resource Irish Nationals will set the standards for the future of the 40x20 game in Ireland,” he said.
“These are very exciting times for handball, and the GAA fully support the new lease of life handball is currently embracing.”

Brennan is set to attend the event, as well as the Envirogreen Resource All-Star Awards Banquet, in his home county this weekend.

The tournament will showcase the cream of the crop in Irish handball, with categories ranging from 13 and Under to Golden Masters (55+). The blue ribbon events will see the top eight male and female players, including Cork’s Tony Healy, Dublin’s Eoin Kennedy, Antrim’s Fiona Shannon and Kerry’s Maria Daly, battle for the coveted Men’s and Women’s Open National titles.

Healy faces a tough semi-final meeting with Antrim’s Owen McKenna, but has been in top form in recent outings and should come through this battle. Meanwhile, Kennedy will take on Mayo’s Joe McCann, a player also producing some fine handball at present. The experience of the Dubliner could be the different in this pairing.

In the third quarter-final, Armagh’s Charly Shanks, takes on Westmeath young-gun, Robbie McCarthy and this will provide a close encounter with two constrasting styles of play. Antrim’s Ricky McCann also looks to continue his present good form when he meets fellow Ulsterman, Tyrone’s Ciaran Curran.

In the women’s section, the most eagerly anticipated quarter-final clash sees Kerry’s Maria Daly face Kildare’s Anna Spence, and there is no doubt that this will be close battle. Fiona Shannon opens her campaign, with a quarter-final match-up against Kerry’s Ashley Prendeville.

In the juvenile events, there will be some top action in both the girls and boys categories. The 19 and Under, and 17 and Under Boys events sees some of the rising stars in the game take to the courts. Limerick's Seamus O'Carroll is the hot favorite in the 19s, while the 17s in too close to call, but American Tyree Bastidas (New York) will be pushed to the edge by any of the other candidates, of which Cork’s Shane Hedigan looks impressive.

In the Girls 17 and Under, Leona Doolin (Roscommon) is hotly tipped to add another crown to her impressive collection, but the likes of Wicklow's Shauna Hilley and Kildare's Louise Walsh will test her ability.

There will also be some top action in the Master grades, with veterans Tom Sheridan (Meath) and Kilkenny’s Michael Ducksy Walsh both in search of glory. Action gets underway on Saturday morning, with the finals taking place on Sunday afternoon; it will be an exciting weekend of handball action in the Marble City
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Bastidas boys always at home on the road – Terror spree in the Northeast - young team terrorizes handball players in the area.




From left: Grant Jennings, Tyler Hamel (champions) along Tyree and Jurell Bastidas (finalists) in Ohio.

Photo courtesy of George Miller Sr Tournament.


Bastidas boys always at home on the road

US handball magazine April 2008


Brooklynites Jurell and Tyree Bastidas say autumn in New York is usually boring for one-wall players. So the 2006 national one-wall junior champions decided to do something new to keep in shape through the winter. They decided to play four-wall as a team and organized a road tour to travel to other state tournaments.

Team Bastidas started its 2007 fall tour September 30 in Queens, N.Y., at the Pro One-Wall tournament. This event is one in which the best one-wall players get together to fight for prize money. Besides Rookie Wright, Tyree was the only player to score more than 15 points on four-time national champion Satish Jagnandan.

Then Team Bastidas moved on to play at the 39th Golden Horseshoe Four-Wall Tournament in Hamilton, Canada, where both reached the finals. Tyree and Jurell went on to play one of their best games ever in the open singles finals, which Tyree won, and the open doubles.

“Every year we get players from the U.S. trying to win this tournament with no success, but this is the first time we have to young players from New York as winners,” said tournament director Brian Goto.

Later on, Team Bastidas traveled to Bowling Green, Ohio, for the 22nd annual George Miller Sr. Tournament. They dismantled 2007 national collegiate champions Jon Iglesias/Shun Lee from Lake Forest College before being overpower in the final by powerhouse players Tyler Hamel/Grant Jennings.

Next stop was the 35th Albany Open, where Tyree disposed of former Albany Open winners Andy Rousseau and Raul Retian in the open singles before losing to eventual champion David Fink. In doubles, Team Bastidas reached the finals by taking apart two strong teams, Raul Retian/Dan Vera and Billy O’Donnell/Schneider. In the final the brothers lost in a tiebreaker to a stronger team, Iglesias and Keith Vassall.

Team Bastidas then traveled to Milwaukee to compete in the 27th annual Milwaukee Classic. Winner Dave Munson had to come from behind to defeat Tyree in the tiebreaker. In Doubles, they disposed of Kevin Jarvis/Tom Pfeil from Lake Forest College and Adam Szatkoski/Shane Conneely from Illinois. In the semifinals they refused to go down quietly against Shun Lee/Mike Munson, falling 11-9 to the eventual champions as the brothers played one of their best games of the year.

Team Bastidas made its last stop in Worcester, Massachusetts, for the Warren Chase Four-Wall Tournament. The brothers cornered the open division, as Tyree won the singles, and it turned into an All-New York final, ending their fall tour with success, a lot of experience and new friends.

“In this tournament, top players from Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts competed for the title.” said tournament director Bob Turnan.

Jurell said it was a great idea and a good experience to have done this tour with his little brother. Vern Roberts had suggested the idea, and it turned out to be a great one.

“I’m very pleased overall because we accomplished everything we wanted to accomplish from the beginning this fall,” said Jurell.” If you looked at our team, we’re fast; we’re athletic and built for the future.

“We did not know we had an extended handball family out there. All these tournaments are family-oriented, and the hospitality was excellent. We would recommend these tournaments to anyone. We are definitely doing it again in 2008.” said Jurell.

Tyree acknowledge the tour had brought his game to a higher level and helped him win the 17-and under title at the national four-wall juniors.

Although Carl Obert has approached the Bastidas brothers to guide them during some of their summer practices in Coney Island, Coach Mike Watson is the one who placed Tyree as a top four-wall player in the Northeast, and coach Paul Williams and the ICHA have seen their investment in Tyree multiply during the last few years.

Playing with the small and big ball in 2007 Tyree won nine national titles in one-, three-, and four-wall, including a Canadian national title. He also has several open titles and became an open player at the tender age of 16. He is on course to become”The greatest,” as he wants to be remembered when he finished his last year in the juniors divisions.

Jurell and Tyree Bastidas really appreciate all the tips and advice given to them over the years and want to thank everyone who has helped them make it this far.

Note: The road tour article inadvertently omitted a stop at the Massachusetts State Open Championships that took place at the Boston Athletic Court, where both brothers reached the semifinals of the Men’ s open division.

Blending the Past and the Present





For The Record:

T. Bastidas has reached and won more finals in juniors and adult national championships (combined) than any other teenager in the history of the game.