Handball player for life.

New York State Hall of Fame Championships – Jurell Bastidas wins John Sabo Sr. Scholarship – a Saturday night to remember.





Above: Jurell Bastidas, left, accepts Scholarship Award from Northeast Four-Wall Commissioner Bill Kennedy.                                                     Photo by Gary Grossman

Above: Paul Williams poses at the NYS Hall of Fame Banquet with junior 1-wall players. Williams brought these youngsters to introduce them to the four-wall game. J. Vasquez (far left), is the current USHA/ICHA  1-wall  big ball national champion in the girl's division.

Above: Junior competition heated up during match of J. Borbon (red trunks) of Hillcrest HS in Queens and Robert Lee of Midwood HS in Brooklyn.

Above: Players get together to enjoy the games while taking a break during the Saturday afternoon competition.

Above: Jurell Bastidas shoots from the left side in tough game against Charly Schanks (Ireland).     


The NYS Hall of Fame tournament banquet turned out to be one of the best in recent memory as USHA Northeast handball officials had an opportunity to speak up about the future of the game and the upbeat news of the upcoming handball season.

Danny Vera, the tournament director, thanked everyone in the room for coming to play in the oldest HOF tournament in the U.S.

Raul Retian, the current Northeast Commissioner, reminded the players about the upcoming USHA Northeast Four-Wall Tournament to be held in Fairfield New Jersey on April 20-22.

Tom Lynch, one of the big honchos of the Albany Open Committee was in charge of inducting Jim Giner into the Hall of Fame. Mr. Jim Giner stepped up to give his acceptance speech and thanked everyone in the room for such an honor.

Bill Kennedy, the perennial USHA Four-Wall Northeast Commissioner stepped up to the podium to announce the winners of the John Sabo Sr. Scholarships. Every year three scholarships are awarded to students handball players who demonstrate excellent academic performance.

This year, the John Sabo Sr. Scholarship provided three Awards of $1,000 each to three different students. The awards are funded by individuals who love and support the game.

Bill Kennedy presented the John Sabo Sr. Scholarship check to Jurell Bastidas, a senior level student from York College. Jurell has also been on the Dean’s list on several occasions.



Canadian National Four-Wall Championships in Montreal – 1-wall national champion Tyree Bastidas to attend - come and watch Merv Deckert, one of the greatest handball players in North America.





Above from left: Legendary handball player Merv Deckert poses with Tyree Bastidas at the CNA Banquet celebration in 2010.

Above: Canadian national championship games in the men's (left) and women's division.


When was the first time Tyree Bastidas played at a Canadian national?

He played in Montreal in 2007 when he was 16 years old, and ever since then, he hasn’t missed any Canadian 4-wall national that has taken place in the East. The hospitality, camaraderie and competition are the number one factors for Bastidas to keep coming back over the years.

It was in 2007, when Bastidas saw pro player Merv Deckert play for the first time. Bastidas was very impressed with the pro skills displayed by a man his age playing in the open.

By 2008, Bastidas had already done his homework and had found out that M. Deckert was one of the greatest 4-wall players in Canada. So he traveled to Calgary, Canada to play in the open with high hopes of playing Mr. Deckert in either the singles or doubles. He never did. But that didn’t stop Tyree from getting to know him more and hanging around with him.

When the Canadian national was held in Burlington in 2010, Bastidas entered the tournament once again, but Mr. Deckert wasn’t playing in the open anymore. Still, we caught up with them at the Banquet reception, where M. Deckert had invited Tyree to compete at the Canadian national in 2011. Mr. Deckert was to arrange for Bastidas’ stay during the tournament, while a 1-wall handball clinic to be performed by Tyree was organized in another city, Edmonton, in advance of Bastidas' arrival. Unfortunately, a foot injury prevented Tyree from attending the Canadian national.

This year, The Canadian national 4-wall championships are coming back to Montreal once again from May 30 to June 02, and Bastidas has already marked his calendar to attend this great event.

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New York State Hall of Fame Championships – The Past gets a Present.




Above: The All Sport Club in Fishkill, New York.

Above: Andy Rousseau dives to retrieve a difficult ball in first game.

Above from right: Longtime boyfriend and girlfriend Jurell Bastidas and Na Liu enjoy the night at the HOF Banquet.

Above: The junior competition had tough games on Sunday morning.

Above: Players and families get together to celebrate the 34th Anniversary of the tourney.

Above: NYS Hall of Fame championships underway at the Sport Club. Most photos by Dan Gebben and Gary Grossman.


The NYS Hall of Fame has a long and storied history, and now that history has a magnificently reinvented home. After a one-year renovation at their landmark Fishkill location, the NYS Hall of Fame welcomed handball players to the 34th Annual handball competition at the Sport Club. From the beautifully re-conceived space to the new destination restaurant, featuring small plates from the region.

History matters more than ever here with families enjoying the new facilities and amenities offered during the weekend competition.

The NYS Hall of Fame tournament took place at the Sports Club located at 17 Old Main St in Fishkill by the Hudson.

The Hall of Fame handball Committee shares in the excitement of making the tournament’s past more vibrant than ever.



1-Wall tournament at Coney Island – What are you doing April 14? – Unleash your fierce!




From left: Open players David Rojas (hitting the ball), Cesar Sala in the back, Joe Kaplan (red shirt) and John Wright will be playing this weekend.


On April 14, Albert Apuzzi will be inaugurating the first open men’s singles event of the year at the Coney Island handball courts. It will be the first time-out from the 4-wall handball season going on in the Metropolitan area which will resume with the USHA Four-Wall Northeast Regional Championships to take place in Fairfield New Jersey on April 20-22.

Apuzzi’s 1-wall tournaments during the spring season are geared to prepare handball players to compete at the USHA National One-Wall Championships held in August.

Come and watch the best 1-wall players to compete against each other for the money pot. Tyree Bastidas will attend the event. Free to watch for everyone.

New York State Hall of Fame Tournament - Court’s in session – an inside look at the end of the day.





Above: Jurell Bastidas hits the ball to score against Charly Shanks.

Above: Robert Lee returns the ball in game against Hossain Sheikh.

Above from left: Jeannina, Amalie and Tyree Bastidas find time to enjoy at the hotel pool during the tournament.

Above: T. Bastidas shoots in Between C. Shanks, R. Retian and J. Bastidas

Above: C. Shanks blasts the ball as the rest of the players watch and wait.

Above: The doubles(40+) was an exciting match to watch all the way to the tiebreaker. It was the last match of the tournament.

Above: Jurell Bastidas (black shirt) upsetting top seeded player William O' Donnell during quarterfinal match.


The NYS Hall of Fame closed out another successful chapter in handball history as it drew close to 100 players from various States in the Northeast.

Milestone: Tyree Bastidas is the youngest player to slam in the open three consecutive years.

Upsets: Jurell Bastidas defeated William O’Donnell in the men’s open and Hossain Sheikh defeated Robert Lee in the junior division.

Useless facts:

Two high school 1-wall players from Queens and Brooklyn met in the finals of the junior divisions.

The NYS Hall of Fame tournament was created after the merger of the Poughkeepsie Hall of Fame Invitational and the NYS handball championships.

The NYS Hall of Fame tournament and the Albany Open offer the best hospitality, the best Banquet and the best camaraderie in the handball community.

Champions of this great tournament include players from: Ireland, Canada and the U.S.

There have been only two tournament directors since the creation of this tournament: George Brandeburg and Danny Vera.

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Blending the Past and the Present



For the Record:

Tyree Bastidas  is the youngest player to win three consecutive years the open doubles at the NYS Hall of Fame championships.