The Wall Ball Ambassador
This week Wall Ball is proud to highlight a Wall Ball enthusiast who is known around the world as “Mr. International.” He sits on the board of the U.S.H.A. and has been proud Ambassador of our sport for nearly a decade. With his determination and never-ending positive outlook on life he is sure to see his dream to a reality; “To see Wall Ball become an Olympic sport in my lifetime.” Congratulations and much success to our new Player of the Week – Mr. William Polanco!
Interview By J. Ray:
How did you come to play the sport of Wall Ball?
I grew up in Brooklyn and had an older cousin that used to take care of me when I was little. She used to take me to the park and showed me how to play. Although I played baseball, football, and basketball – handball/wall ball became my favorite because it was so easy to pick up and play with a friend.
Who were/are you biggest influences?
I had 3 big influences. One was a local park player we called Beebee. He told me that no matter what I do with the game to first and foremost to enjoy myself. That you could be up 19-0 or be down 19-0 that it is just a game in the end. Next was one of the best players that came out of my area – Ray Lopez. He was a dominant force when I started to get better. I wanted to be as good as he was one day and show that my area of Sunset Park had a solid group of handball players. Last is Albert Apuzzi. He got me into playing small ball again and told me about all the possibilities and greatness that the game can bring. He’s the one that pushed me to start experiencing handball around the country and the world.
What do you see for the future of Wall Ball?
It is an amazing time to be a player or enthusiast of the game. The future is bright for the sport. Many countries are starting programs and building walls or facilities. Being the major area for one-wall wall ball, we need to assist these external programs by providing subsidized equipment (balls, eye guards) and offer clinics for players, coaches, and referees. The ultimate goal for most sports is to be recognized on an Olympic level, it may take a while but I can see it becoming just as popular. Anyone that plays the sport knows how fun, stress relieving, and addicting it can be.
As more and more organizations collaborate to get the game a fixed structure, we will see better development of the international players. Once the world is united in play, the events will garner more participation and exposure.
(from left) Tony Roberts, William Polanco & Vlad Klym