Enclosed inside a 3-wall handball court and under a cloudy sky, Tyree Bastidas was poised and prepared to take on the 2013 USHA 3-wall nationals as a champion. With back-to-back Pro Handball appearances in 1- and 3-wall at Maumee, Ohio, Tyree has called his shot on the most coveted outdoor event with the most walls: a national title from the 3-wall game.
Behind the white-rimmed gargles, infectious smile and undeniable style, lies a drive and desire to win that is unmatched by his peers. He stands out among the rest, both on and off the court. And that is not by accident. His relentless attitude of always challenging himself and always taking things to the next level is the reason why he is one of the most loved and feared players in the Association.
By the time he was crowned the 3-wall national champion, the sky had already cleared up to shine on a new champion at the historic 3-wall handball courts in Ohio.
Congratulations to Tyree Bastidas, the new 3-wall national champion.
The countdown to the USHA 1-wall nationals has begun.
That’s right, the 4-wall nationals already took place in June and the 3-wall nationals just took place this past weekend (September 2).
The 1-wall championships will be the last USHA event offered in September to accommodate other players whom otherwise wouldn’t have attended the tournament this past August. It’s also the only sacred tournament in America, where New Yorkers are the only players able to capture the titles.
Canadian are assembling a team to send to the nationals. We are hoping other players from other states take advantage of the once in a life-time opportunity to play in the only open event (men’ s singles and doubles) that has never been captured by players outside New York.
It would also be a great opportunity to watch and meet the youngest player in the world to hold both; the 1-and 3-wall single titles.
The 1-wall handball event is considered the easiest handball version to play but has proven to be the most difficult to win.
The 1-wall handball version is also considered my most, the purest form of handball as handball players rely only on their handball skills.
Mr. Kopp, President of Owen Gloves based in Iowa, made his annual trip to the 3-wall nationals on August 29. He always attends the nationals to do business, support the tournament and to provide the players he sponsors with plenty of gloves for the event.
Mr. Kopp is always on the move. His business requires him to be constantly traveling throughout the States. Last year we saw him in Maumee the first day at the courts, and we never got to see him again after that. In 2011, we saw him in New York while in 2013 we saw him in Des Moines.
“I have a whole bunch of color gloves for Tyree, including green, Tyree’s favor color), Tom said.
Mr. Kopp wished Tyree the best of luck before he left Ohio during the last week of August.
As we arrived at the Lucas Recreation Center, volunteers were drying up the wet courts after an overnight rain. Tyree and Jurell decided to take a walk away from the courts to focus on the upcoming games, when suddenly an old man approached them from behind “Tyree, you will be the next champion. I’ve seen you play before and I know this is your year. I’ve lived around these courts for more than 40 years. I was even here before the courts were built, and I have seen Fred Lewis and Lou Russo win on these courts in the ‘70’s. I‘ve also seen Naty Alvarado and Vern Roberts win here” said Morris Manning from Ireland.
“I always liked to see New Yorkers win this tournament. They put so much effort into it; it’s heartbreaking when they lose. I’ve seen them all being crowned. I’ll be around for Tyree’s singles match. I won’t be around to see the men’s doubles”
Mr. Manning said he is from Galway, Ireland and wished Tyree good luck before he started walking away and disappearing in the crowd. We did take a picture of him at his request.
Mr. Jasso hails from San Jose California and has been coming to the 3-wall nationals for the past four years. He has made this tournament the top priority in his calendar and always made sure he found his way to Maumee.
Mr. Jasso’s short handball career has been so successful that he always finds his way to the championship match some way or another. In fact, Mr. Jasso has been in the finals in his first three appearances. But this year (fourth), he couldn’t find his way to the championship match as he faced Kendell Lewis in the early round of the men’s singles (35+).
During his second event, he tried unsuccessfully to reach the finals of the men’s doubles (35+) as he also faced Mr. Lewis in his early round. “What the heck! I wish I didn't have to play Kendell so early” Raul said.
Mr. Kendell lives in North Carolina but his handball roots are originally from New York.
Congratulations to both players for a great showing and for good sportsmanship on and off the court.