Handball player for life.

2010 USHA National Big Ball One-Wall Championships - Tyree goes from small ball to big ball - struggles to overcome big ball players - finds his rhythm - captures another national title.






2010 USHA National Big Ball One-Wall Championships - Tyree captures 19-and-under big ball event     

2010 USHA National Big Ball Championships – Tyree takes his gloves off – captures national title with his bare hands – soaring over the Pacific – roaring over the Atlantic – captures eye-popping record of  six USHA national titles( Junior and Men’s Open divisions) with the small and big ball in less than 35 days –  proves to be the most versatile player in USHA history, again








Above: Tyree wearing his shirt"balls to the wall" awaits with his two bare hands to put the finishing touch in the game to advance to the  Open Men's semi-finals match.

Above: Youngsters follow the action of the big ball games at Victory Park.

Above: Tyree guiding the ball to its final destination and capturing his last USHA national championship title. He started his junior handball journey winning his first title with the small ball and ended up closing it out with a big winning with the big ball at Victory Field.

Pictures courtesy of Scott Schilder


Tyree Bastidas is the only player in the USHA who can win and switch gears from the small ball to the big ball, from a 1-wall game to a 3-wall game and vice verse.

During the summer of 2010 Tyree Bastidas just did that. He started by winning the USHA -1 wall jr nationals at Victory Field in New York on the Atlantic coast, then traveled to California to win the 3-wall jr national titles along the Pacific coast, he came back to New York to win the USHA 1-wall Open National Title with the small ball. The following weekend he proceeded to win the USHA 1-wall big ball 19-and-under Singles title, and even reached the semi-finals of the Men’s Open division, losing to the eventual champions at Victory Field in Queens, the handball courts where he started this feat.

Asked why did he play in the USHA big ball 1-wall nationals?” It wasn’t on my plans, but I saw some good big ball players registered, including S. Cooney, and that motivated me. I like playing against my Irish friends; they give me a lot of competition. I hope they keep coming back to America.

Who is going to stop Tyree now?




Above sitting from left: Tyree Bastidas and Satish Jagnandan talking to each other for the first time in 2005 as if they were planning the take over of the  1-wall national titles in the near future


Tyree Bastidas and Satish Jagnandan met for the first time at the 2005 Mayor’s Cup at the Bronx. Tyree, a 14-year old kid, had just won his 15-and- under semi-finals Singles division, while Satish had just finished winning his semi-finals Open match. Tyree was very surprised watching Satish play and wanted to know a lit bit more of Satish’s game and his serve. He introduced himself to Satish and their friendship flourished ever since then. Little bit did they know, they would be soon facing each other at the championship match of the prestigious 2008 Mayor’s Cup.

During the 2006 Jonathan Lee One-Wall Open Tournament, Satish left everybody  under 15 points, except John (Rookie) Wright, and Tyree Bastidas. This was the first wake up call for the then three-time one-wall national champion, Satish Jagnandan.

The 2010 USHA 1-wall Open national saw Satish bowed out of the competition by the quarter-finals, while Tyree turned out to be the new USHA 1-wall national champion.

“I always liked Satish’s serve, but I never really practiced enough to have a serve like his” said Tyree.

“There is no secret. Everybody knows I don’t have a serve or power, but that is ok. Keeping the ball in play is all I need to win my games.

Satish is the only player who has stopped Tyree at the national level. He actually has the honor of being the only player in the U.S. to have a record on Tyree at he USHA 1-wall nationals. Someone’s going to have to really come up and do a phenomenal job to wrestle the crown away from Tyree.

Could the 2010 USHA 1-wall open nationals be Satish’s last Open national championship?

Could this be the emergence of the new champion coinciding with the departure of the last one?

Who is going to stop Tyree now?

2010 One-Wall Nationals Write-Up




From left: Tyree wearing red trunks and red gloves looks on fire as he is getting ready to roll the ball.

Picture courtesy of Bill Fand.


Written by Peter Peart    Saturday, 07 August 2010


The game of handball is truly a universal sport. It could not be clearer than what was on display for the One Wall Nationals held in Brooklyn, New York August 4-8, 2010. This 5 day event is always filled with drama on and off the courts. This being Brooklyn and Coney Island, there are characters and then some. To confess, I am writing this report with bias because I only witnessed the final day and a mere two events. But what events they were.

First, Brooklyn is my birthplace. Although, I grew up playing the one wall game, I never mastered its intricacies as would be required to compete at the National level. But the 3 and 4 wall versions of our game have satiated my lust for handball and have indeed fulfilled some of the glory of the days of my youth when I triumphed in my home court without venturing beyond those fences. Tragically, that wall has been removed and the park modernized to be more all encompassing as an urban space. But I digress.
Sunday morning at West 5th Street and Surfside Ave was the place to be on August 8. With the spires of Coney Island's amusement park looming in the close distance and the sand, smell and surf of the Atlantic ocean only a few paces away, an eclectic crowd gathered around court number 1, the venue for the open finals of both Men’s and Women's divisions.
One cannot speak or write of handball at Coney Island without mentioning the spectators in equal voice as the players. It would seem that of the volumes in attendance, young, old, male and female alike, they all shared the same passion for the game. The game is so alive here that even during time outs from ongoing matches, there is a race to get on the court to slap the ball around. The action is constant and the buzz of the crowd is at an equal pace. In addition, if you want to hear stories and histories, this is the place to be. Complete strangers will bend your ear and tell of either own past glories or that of another as they have witnessed on these hallowed courts.
As it is so often in sports, the torch is constantly being passed as youth rise to take their place and serve their time at the top.
This brings me to the Men's Open Singles final. Knowing that I would only get to see a few hours’ worth of matches, this final was my choice for viewing. If you follow the one wall competition, the familiarity of names and skills at this level would already be known to you. But because it would take volumes to give backgrounds and histories, I will just briefly allude to certain connectors as they relate. At the beginning of the tournament, the reigning champion at this level was Satish Jagnandan. Satish is a great one-waller and has dominated on these courts during nationals for many years. But in this tournament, Satish met a determined William Palanco, a half of the current reigning Open doubles national champions. The match between these two champions must have been a thing of beauty because William eliminated Satish in their half of the quarterfinals 17, 18. On the other side of the draw, the teenage sensation Tyree Bastidas was making his way through the draw against past and future champions at this level. Without citing the details and the drama, Tyree and William met in the finals.
Having witnessed Tyree's skills at 3-wall and knowing his established and developing handball reputation, the pre-match buzz and hype was well warranted. Court 1 was ringed by spectators inside and outside the fences. As the combatants warmed up so did the crowd. After some delay, the match was underway. Tyree was at his best and kept his emotions under control. William had few answers for any of his serves or his shots, most of which were of the precise passing variety. William spent most of the first game, after jumping out to a 5-0 lead, defending. And in a series of two consecutive service turns, Tyree scored 15 unanswered points. They later exchanged a few side outs but Tyree added his needed 6 points while allowing William only 3 more for a 21-8 outcome.
The second game was different in that William battled and stayed close the first 8 points.  Although there were many scintillating rallies, William could never get on a run of more than 1 or two points at a time. Up 9-8, Tyree pulled away with brilliant shot making and blistering passing shots and never relinquished control. Whenever William was fortunate enough to retrieve a Tyree blast, his often off balance returns became fodder for the cannon that is Tyree's right hand. William only managed 3 more points for the game which ended with Tyree up 18-11, and he proceeded to serve 3 consecutive deep, nasty hooks to William's right that were out right service winners as William failed in successive attempts to make fair returns. The crowd showed its collective appreciation with deserved applause and shouts as the two fine combatants shook hands and warmly embraced as fans and well wishers streamed onto the court.
During the above mentioned finals, I spied Dan Zimet along the side lines in pre-match mode. After asking someone to hold my viewing spot, I sprinted over to Dan and discovered his match was in the offing and was the finals in a round robin for the 40 plus Doubles Masters. Dan was also entered in the 40 plus Singles Masters but was unfortunately eliminated in the semifinal 20, 16.
I was excited to see Dan's match for obvious reasons. Dan is one of my favorite players to watch. His game has so many facets that one can only aspire and hope to gain insight from watching his on court masterpieces unfold. Seeing Dan play and dominate all these years at 3 and 4 wall, I never realized he was also a 1 wall player.
Having missed the previous day’s matches, I overheard a man comment in typical 'Brooklynese,' "This kid Zimet is something else." At the time of hearing that comment, I was not aware that Dan was still in the tournament; nor that the man who made the comment, would be part of the team Dan would face in the finals. After realizing these facts, and before the match, I mentioned the comment to Dan but I did not identify the speaker. Dan of course showed grace and humility hearing his praises being sung by some seemingly random stranger.
Dan and his partner Dave Sheldon faced off against the team of Pete Pelligrini and Paul Lonergan. This being a round robin format and only 3 teams competing, wins and losses and total points often figure into the formula to determine a champion. As with most games/matches, win outright and leave no doubt. Dan and Dave seem to understand this going in and took control of the first game. Though close at first, Dave and Dan pulled away with dominant shot making and great front court play. With the final outcome 21-10, there was discussion between games of whether or not Dan and Dave were assured the championship with that victory. After some discussion and no resolution, game two was played. A win by Pelligrini and Lonergan would mean an 11 point tiebreaker. The game started out even and after a few side outs, Pelligrini and Lonergan were up 4-2. After a disputed call and clarifications, Lonergan found his serve and pinned Dan and Dave deep in the court while Pelligrini feasted from lofty returns with his repeated fly kills. And even when Dan and Dave battled in rallies, and hit seeming winners, Lonergan would somehow retrieve and between him and his partner, win the rallies. In all fairness, Dan and Dave hooked quite a number of shots wide thus ending rallies unceremoniously. The second game ended quickly as Lonergan and Peligrini went on extend point runs. Dan and Dave rallied but too little too late as the game ended, 21-8.
The tie breaker saw the continued dominance of Pelligrini and Lonergan. They continued with the style of play that proved successful in the previous game and bested Dan and Dave 11-3.
As spectators, we were unaware of how the wins/loses and total points would add up. But when I later walked over to the tournament director’s tent area, I spied Dan with the trophies in hand. I made inquires, and yes, he and Dave are the champions by rule of wins and loses: Dan and Dave was 3-2 and Pelligrini and Lonergan was 3-3.
After congratulating Dan and his partner, I took some photos of the winners and their hardware. In corresponding with Dan the next day, I inquired whether this was his 9th or 10th national title. Dan responded that this was his 10th national title.
Therefore, it is with great pleasure I report our newest Grand Master, Dan Zimet. Dan has joined an elite group of players in our sport. Dan has earned his championships as a complete player in that he has won national titles in 1-wall (this being his first), 3-wall (8) and 4-wall (1).
Hearty congratulations to Dan for a stellar career and this outstanding achievement. I wish him continued success and many more championships.
Though youth may be served and torches passed, it is still a great day for handball when one can witness future champions being crowned and great champions achieve breakthrough milestones. Again, congratulations to Dan for achieving this great milestone!

Read more……….


Blending the Past and the Present.






For The Record:


Tyree is the only junior player in the U.S to have slammed in more tournaments than any other junior player in the history of the game.