Player of the Week – Ingmar McKenzie
Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
Beginning August 9th and spanning almost 2 weeks , the 2018 World Handball Championships was contested in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The end of the championships concluded with the crowning of nine new open champions across all the grades of handball (wallball, four-wall, and one-wall smallball). While many new champions made their way to the podium, this week we want to highlight the rise of a new Wallball star – Ingmar McKenzie.
A Brooklyn native, Ingmar ‘Iggy’ McKenzie started playing Wallball at an early age in middle school. A disciplined athlete, McKenzie would often train, on his own, for hours at a time looking to perfect his footwork and shot making. He made a splash early in the scene, making it to the semi’s and finals of numerous junior events. In 2011, his hard work began to pay off as he and his partner became the USHA 19 and under Junior National Champions. Even while studying full-time at University out of state, Ingmar continued to be a student of the game finding ways to continually work on improving.
Fast forward to today, a World Championship later. Ingmar began competing in the Open division of Wallball events only in 2017, losing a close final in the Belgium Open to the current National Champion – Timothy Gonzalez. Fueled with confidence and a will to improve, Ingmar matched his first open final showing in Belgium with a win at the 2018 UK Open Pro doubles. Partnering up with long-time pro Vladislav Klym, Ingmar continued his run of form by entering in the 2018 World Championships of Handball to test himself on the grandest of stages. Entering both the B Singles and Open Doubles, an improbable run began. Fighting off asthma, fatigue, and a grueling schedule of playing best of 3 matches for six consecutive days, Ingmar emerged as a World Champion and winner of both of his entered divisions. Seven years removed as a Junior National Champion, hard work and perseverance have driven him to the top. As Robert Collier once said, success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.