Raised in Brooklyn, NY Dan Pitre thrives on the competitiveness and humbleness of his surroundings. Eli Pitre, Dan’s father, played handball for years and is known on the courts for his genuine personality and competitive demeanor. “My dad was an amazing player,” Dan says, “He was a very humble guy and he never let anyone get to him. That inspired me to be like him and play a lot to be as good as him.”
Without much interest for the sport Dan couldn’t find the will to play until five years ago, in 2012, when he picked up a handball and fell in love with the sport. He found himself in front of concrete walls in the West 4th Street courts and Martinez Playground almost every day of the week. “I’m dedicated to the sport because it has kept me away from a lot of the negativity in the world.”
It’s the people Dan chooses to surround himself around that influences his ability to be a great competitor and person on and off the courts, he’s learned to shy away from those who seek individual success and those who criticize his abilities as a wallball competitor. “But there are a few handball players that would encourage me and tell me ‘never listen to what anyone has to say about you,’” Dan says, “I’ve met so many good people through this sport who have influenced me.” One of those good people is Rookie, who is one of the most famed wall ball players in New York. Rookie soon started to train Dan by encouraging him to play in the toughest games so he could learn how to handle pressure which proved helpful during his biggest challenges.
There’s a difference in Dan’s style of play when it comes to tournaments compared to a game with his friends. When it’s tournament season Dan is known for his seriousness and his ability to play with ease on the court, unlike leisure games where Dan can be found cracking jokes, feeling at home with the wallball family he’s created on the courts.