As expected, two New Yorkers were among the best three players for the Grand National champion nomination, while Tracy Davis and Danielle Daskalakis also from New York, took the top honors among the women. Had we have this system in place in the past, we wouldn’t have any doubts of other New Yorkers to have been among the best players of the game.
It’s a fair system that takes into consideration the players’ talent, their handball skills and their outstanding performance overall in all three handball versions.
Tyree and Jurell Bastidas, along with fellow players, Danielle Daskalakis and Tracy Davis took the top honors during the Dinner Award and Gala presentation on May 7.
Grand National Champions (men):
First place – Tyree Bastidas – New York
Second place – Nick Nahorniack – Illinois
Third place – Jurell Bastidas – New York
Grand National Champions (women):
First place – Danielle Daskalakis – New York
Second place – Tracy Davis –New York
Third place – Megan Mehillos – Illinois
From l to r: Tyree Bastidas and Vic Di Luzio. Two champions - two different generations, posing at the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.
Photo by Australian Handball Association
Don’t feel bad if you haven’t yet heard of Vic Di Luzio, even though last year he played in Las Vegas to dominate and win the WPH 3-wall title to add to his trophy collection.
No, do not feel bad at all, two years ago he also won two more world titles at the World Handball championship in Ireland.
Most people in America probably don’t know who Vic Di Luzio is in the handball world, but after traveling around the world in his handball journey, Tyree personally witnessed in Australia one of the biggest handball trophy case on display.
Tyree has seen other people’s trophy galleries in the past, but for the first time, he’s admitted there is one player in Australia who probably has most trophies and honors than most handball players in America. “I went to visit Vic in his house and I was shocked to see so many trophies” Tyree said.
“Vic has a big collection of trophies that is almost impossible to match. And when I say he has a lot of trophies, I mean a lot”
After doing some handball research, we came to the conclusion that Vic Di Luzio is probably among the most decorated handball player in the world. But how did he amass such a huge collection of trophies?
Mr. Di Luzio’s personal handball collection include: Local, Provincial, Regional, National and World titles since he started playing handball many years ago. He’s also won some of those honors by playing, 1-, 3-, and 4-wall championships, making him also one of the most versatile players in the world.
Vic is an active player who stills travels around the world by playing all three handball versions. He was recently spotted in Las Vegas, Nevada, playing at the WPH 3-wall handball (short walls) in 2013.
Congratulations to Mr. Di Luzio for winning all those tournaments, a testament only to the great players of the handball sport.
Photos by Dan Gebben.
Jurell had a good run at the Boston Open, but couldn’t capitalize in his last match of the day to advance to the semis. He had played a Boston local star at noon where he managed to advance to the quarterfinals. But in the quarters, he faced Irish 4-wall star McCrystal, who had just managed to squeak through a third game by defeating Canadian rising star, Jerome Santerre.
Jurell had a tough first game against McCrystal who also had a chance to close the game. The intensity of the first game spilled into the second game as both players were desperate to advance to the semis. The ending result was another game that could have gone either way, but McCrystal capitalized first to push for the tiebreaker.
The third game was all about McCrystal, who took his 4-wall game to another level after getting frustrated throughout the first two games. McCrystal’s outstanding performance in the third game denied Jurell a pass to the semis.
Congratulations to Mr. McCrystal for a great comeback.
Photo by Dan Gebben
One of the oldest running handball tournaments in America took place in Des Moines, Iowa during the first weekend of May 2014.
Tyree Bastidas, who had recently suffered a hand injury, showed up to the tourney to play with one hand only. He had a tough match in the quarterfinal and even disposed of his rival in a lengthy match that took almost two hours to finish. Bastidas’ acrobatic gets had the crowd glued to their seats for most of the game. “Last week, after your performance at the TALLCORN Handball Tournament in Iowa, all I heard about in the locker-room & bar afterwards was about how well you played, even apparently with a broken hand. Way to go, wild man! (I was digging the story especially because I earned my karate black belt years ago with my right hand broken” Said Ross Schifo from Milwaukee.
The semifinals was a tough match for the New Yorker who had no choice but to concede defeat before he could get any more injured.
Tyree still remains the youngest New Yorker to win the Open singles.
Ever thought about comparing these two sports?
Of course no! Soccer is played by hitting the ball with the feet while handball is played by hitting the ball with the hands. So, what’s there to compare?
Here are a few reasons to compare the similarities of these two great sports:
In soccer you have to have foot-eye coordination while in handball you have to have hand-eye coordination.
In Soccer you have to run and dribble around your opponent to get close to the other side while in handball you have to have to run around your opponent to get to the front wall.
In Soccer you have to hit the ball with your feet to score while in handball you have to hit the ball with your hands to score.
In Soccer you have to be able to kick the ball with both feet to excel while in handball you have to have to be able to play with both hands to excel.
In soccer and handball a player needs to have accuracy in order to score.
Tyree and Jurell Bastidas come from a soccer family; therefore they are doing with their hands what their family used to do with its feet.
Currently Tyree and Jurell Bastidas are the No 1 and No 2 seeded handball players respectively in the U.S.