Handball star passed another test with flying colors – How Tyree Bastidas fares next to all young 1-wall open champions of both: AAU and USHA organizations!
Photo by Holly Koffler
Handball star Tyree Bastidas, showed few signs of flagging over the first week of August, barreling past the four USHA 1-wall national titles mark in America at a faster pace than any other 1-wall player his age. It's becoming old hat to recount the various ways Tyree Bastidas is vaporizing records.
This is the first time a player as young as Tyree (24-year-old), has won more 1-wall national open titles by competing only in one organization.
During the 20th Century, AAU handball players across the continent had a big opportunity to win more 1-wall titles when a second 1-wall national championship was offered in 1959 by the fairly new handball organization “USHA”
Without taking away credit from any of these champions and looking back into their handball records, none of them got to capture more titles (combined 1-wall AAU & USHA singles and doubles) than current 1-wall champion Tyree Bastidas had captured before he celebrated his 25th birthday. It's just another testament and solid proof of how current champion Tyree Bastidas stacks up next to former open champions.
Champions who captured 1-wall titles (s/d) before they turned 25-year-old:
Name AAU (S) AAU (D) USHA (S) USHA (D)
1- Tyree Bastidas* '10, '13, '14,'15 '15
2- Sy Alexander* '31 '29, '30, '33, '36
2- Ruby Obert '54 '55, '58, '59 '59
3- Kenny Davidoff '63, '65 '62 '62
4- Morty Alexander* '40 '36, '40, '41
5- Kenny Holmes '66 '65
5- Wally Ulbrich '66, '71
6- Joel Davidson '72
7- Mark Levine '70
8- Steve Sandler** '61
(1-5) – Players are ranked by number of titles first, then singles is given priority.
(6-8) – Players are ranked by age. As in previous charts we give more credit to younger players as they have to put extra effort into their game to defeat the more experienced players.
* - Morty Alexander (AAU), Sy Alexander (AAU) and Tyree Bastidas (USHA) competed only in one handball association. All other players competed in both: AAU and USHA organizations.
** - Steve Sandler (1940-2014) competed at the inaugural USHA 1-wall nationals in 1959 where he reached the quarter finals and lost to Carl Obert. He won his first open title by playing at the AAU 1-wall nationals in 1961. The fact that he was able to capture only one title by the time he turned 25-years-old, he's considered to be a late bloomer in the handball sport. “Steve Sandler experienced a “dry spell” from 1962 to 1965” reported Dan Flickstein in 1977.
As we have previously stated, we never got to watch players of the past during their prime. Therefore we can only go by the number of accomplishments and titles listed in the associations they competed for. For those wondering if Bastidas would had won more titles if he would had played in more than than one national championship, the answer is - Yes. Tyree Bastidas would have loved to play in more than one association to increase his number of titles, but unfortunately he was not afforded the same opportunity players of the 60's and 70's had.
Top and Bottom Photos by Keith Thode
It's possible we won't see Theresa play at the 1-wall nationals anymore or perhaps we will never see her play at the worlds in 2018. But does it really matter?
Yes, it does. Theresa McCourt has been one of the best and toughest female players in the association and has won a ton of national titles to prove it. But lately she hasn't been able to perform as she used to. Why?
Age. She is getting to the point where many players are already contemplating leaving the open division. But we believe Theresa can still hang with some of the best 1-wall player if she could just practice a little bit more before competition. She still has the tools and reflects needed to play at top level. Chasing suspects as a police officer is not the same as chasing a ball in the handball court and her latest mediocre performance on the court has proven that.
Mrs. McCourt has captured USHA national juniors and open titles along regional and world titles during three consecutive decades. If she does decide to stop playing in the open division we would like her to go on a high note: winning!
Top and Bottom Photos by Keith Thode
The popularity of the big ball handball version has spread so much around the world there are now more countries participating at the highest level than in the past. Some of the countries to send players to compete in Canada in the men's divisions are: Japan, Australia, Ireland, Ecuador, England, U.S., etc, etc…
In the end an all-American final took place among U.S. national champions: Tywan Cook and Timothy Gonzalez where they showed why they deserved to be in the finals.
Congratulations to all players for putting up a great show with their remarkable skills.
Myth – The 1-wall championship finals have always been played in public Parks or at unknown indoor facilities.
Fact – The AAU 1-wall finals had also been staged at the greatest Sport Arena in the world: The Madison Square Garden.
Tyree Bastidas is the only player in the Association to have won a USHA national 1-wall juniors big and small ball singles title before he won a USHA national open singles title:
2010 - USHA National Big Ball One-Wall Junior Championships - 19-and under Singles division
2010 - USHA National Small Ball One-Wall Junior Championships - 19-and-under Singles division
2010 - USHA National One-Wall Championships - NY Men’ s Open Singles division