Top Photo - Simple Green 3-wall(short walls) handball tournament. Middle Photo - Andy Nett. Bottom Photo - Anthony Selestow.
Tyree Bastidas has played so much handball in the last ten years he’s come to realize there are a lot of nice, honest and good players out there.
The handball sport itself calls for all players to make their own calls when questions arise during their game. And although most players comply with this rule, there are always players who go beyond their duty with their honesty and integrity.
But just because a player is honest and calls his or her own calls it doesn’t make them easy targets to beat them and run them down. On the contrary, most of these players are among the best players and sometimes have gone to become Hall of Famers.
We asked Tyree: who are the most honest players you have played in the Association?
“Most of the players are honest. I have three players at the top of my list: Andy Nett, Anthony Selestow and most recently, Chava Cordova” Tyree said.
We did look into the players’ records and noticed that A. Nett has a world and a USHA national title while A. Selestow has also beaten some of the top players of the game in the last couple of years.
Recently, Chava Cordova, a young star from the west, had taken Tyree to the tiebreaker in perhaps the best match Tyree has ever delivered playing with the big ball at the 3-wall (short walls) Simple Green handball tournament. And although the match was abruptly moved from the main court to the other side, most handball fans left the main court and opted to watch the most exciting and interested match: Cordova vs Bastidas (see photo above), where Cordova denied Tyree a pass to the semifinals and ended up among the top three players of the 3-wall game at Los Cabs "The match with Cordova was so clean we never argued or appealed any shot. I wish everyone else in the 3-wall game play the same way Cordova did" Tyree said.
Albert Apuzzi, who is considered the Anti-thesis of Joe Durso, became a USHA record holder and a HOF without mouth-thrashing his opponents. So we can honestly say the phrase “Nice guys finish last” does not applies in the handball sport.
We always read handball stories on how the 4-wall game used to be played in the past. If the game wasn't won with smooth playing, the game was won by rallies and by wrapping the ball around the walls. Either way is was considered a smart game.
But ever since David Chapman briefly stopped playing in 2004, the game has become a power game where every player tries to overpower his opponent to the point where the ceiling shots are becoming obsoletes.
Danny Bell, the Legendary 4-wall Canadian champion was reffing the game of Emmett Peixoto and David Fink at the Boston Open a few years ago when he approached and asked Emmett after the first game “No one is using the ceiling. Don't you guys believe in the ceiling anymore?”
During the recent NYAC Invitational quarter match, we watched Sean Lenning practically decimate Jonathan Iglesias with no mercy. Later on during the semifinals Andy Nett overpowered hard hitter, Sean Lenning in a fast and furious match. In the end, “Andy Nett was overwhelmed and overpowered by Paul Brady” said John Dugan, the tournament director.
Is overpowering your opponent the new way to win a 4-wall game? -You be the Judge!
Handball players around the world have three days left to register and compete at the world handball championships to be staged in Calgary, Canada during the month of August 11-21.
Canadian officials are offering 1- and 4- wall handball versions with the 1-wall games being played with the small and the big ball. The Canadian team will also be represented by CHA Hall of Fame player Danny Bell, who not only will be playing the traditional 4-wall game, but will be showcasing his 1-wall handball skills never seen at the worlds level.
Mr. Bell has been playing a lot of 1-wall and recently had won a 1-wall tournament in Canada that allowed him to travel to New York to play against New Yorkers to gain more experience and exposure to the game. He'll be probably competing in the 1- and 4-wall open division at the worlds.
Good luck to Mr. Bell.
The women division at this prestigious event drew more than 50% of the players from outside the U.S. that included some of the best players around the world. With top players from Ireland it is no wonder the Irish women dominated the event by taking the top four spots.
To our surprise, we got to watch Ciana Ni Churraoin, from Galway, Ireland. A player we highlighted back in 2009 when we saw her for the first time at the USHA national jr 4-wall championships. Back then she was 13 with a promising handball future and we predicted she would win the Irish or world title in the women's open division before she turns 20.
We didn't get to talk to her at the gallery, but we asked Catriona Casey: we haven't heard too much of Ciana in the past couple of years. How is she doing?
“She hasn't played that much handball. She got really sick last year and this year she is trying to comeback to the game” Catriona said.
This year Ciana reached the championship match and took Catriona Casey to the tiebreaker in what appears to be a wake-up call for Miss. Casey. We still stand by our previous prediction.
Congratulations to all the ladies who turned this event into an international event.
Lou Kramberg (far left) as partner Lou Russo swings (far right) against Pete Tyson and Dick Roberson in the 1969 4-Wall Nationals semifinal at Gregory Gym-UT Austin. Russo and Kramberg were down 6-17 in the third game and came back to win 21-20
Re-posted from USHA website
By Howie Eisenberg
Lou Kramberg passed away on February 28, 2015, at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California, at the age of 85 from kidney failure, after a brief illness.
Lou was born and raised in New York City and lived there until 2014, when he relocated to Moorpark, California. He was assistant athletic director of the 92nd St. Y for over 50 years, and was integral to the development of the Y's "handball dynasty" of the 1960s and 1970s. He won three National Open Titles, and countless State and Regional Titles. His most prestigious title, the USHA National 4-Wall Doubles with Lou Russo came at age 40 in 1969. Lou was also a semi-finalist in national open 1-wall and 3-wall open doubles tournaments. Kramberg arguably hit a ball harder off the back wall than anyone who ever played.
A long time friend and disciple of Jim Jacobs, Lou wrote many instructional articles for Ace/Handball Magazine. Some of the most effective of them were written in Platonic style with Lou playing the part of Plato soaking in and dispensing knowledge at the feet of Socrates (Jacobs). Mr. Kramberg was a formidable athlete who was a knowledgeable and gracious teacher of much more than handball to generations of 92nd Street Y youths as well as other members.
He was predeceased by his wife, Trudy, and is survived by his children, Karen and Michael Kramberg and his son-in-law Tom Turchioe. There are no immediate plans for a memorial, although one may be planned in NYC in May or June.
Donations in Lou's honor can be made to the USHA's youth development program, or to The Rudolf Steiner School in New York City.