The Heart of Champions

Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.

– Aristotle

This week Wall Ball is proud to introduce you to two teenage boys who found a way to positively pass their spare time staying active on the courts of New York City. Among 70 players they were the 2013 Wall Ball Christmas Tournament Champions and last week made their debut in the Open division at 2014 Wall Ball Open at Guz Indoor Sports Club in Brooklyn. Although defeated in the 2nd round of the Opens by Jhon’s idol Gustavo and partner Justin, they proved to the Wall Ball community that they weren’t a bit intimidated by the competition and wouldn’t go down without a fight. Congratulations to our new Players of the Week – Jhon Bermudez & Damien Sirabella!

Interview By: J.Ray

How old are you and what school do you attend?

Damien – I’m 16 and go to new Utrecht high school

Jhon – I am 17 and I attend forest hills high school

How did it feel to win the 2013 Junior Wall Ball Tournament?

Damien – It felt great to finally win one especially against a kid that knocked me out a tourney earlier that year

Jhon – It feels great to be a winner of the juniors. Earned my place in the handball world

How did you guys become partners?

Damien – I asked Jhon to play and we will be playing together on future tournaments

Jhon – Me and Damien became partners out of nowhere actually and yes we will be teaming up a lot this year. He’s a very good partner and we have a great vibe and chemistry

How did it feel to compete in the Opens?

Damien – Playing in the opens was great especially against the top team u can get a feeling for competition for when we get older

Jhon – It was a great experience playing in the opens. Playing different players gets me more into this sport and I feel it is great playing against top players

Who are your favorite handball players/idols?

Damien – My favorite player in handball is Joe Durso. He is one of the greatest to ever play the sport

Jhon – My favorite players are Tavito and Buddy Gant back at his prime.

What do you see for your future in handball?

Damien – I see myself getting my A card eventually

If you could improve one thing in handball what would that be?

Damien – If I can improve 1 thing it would definitely be my opposite hand

Jhon – One thing I need to improve in my handball game is my left. I feel like when I first started playing handball I got use to only practicing my right so that’s why my left isn’t that great but I’m progressing into getting my left into a solid good left and little by little I’ll reach the A player level with both left and right hand strong

Who do you think is your biggest competition?

Jhon – My biggest competition is actually myself cause each day that I play I challenge myself and challenge my skills and put it to the test against top A players and I will keep doing that till I’m at my A prime handball game

How would your life be different without handball?

Damien – Life would be different because I wouldn’t have met the people I know now that taught me so many lessons not only on the court but off as well

Jhon – My life would be completely different without handball because handball is what’s keeping me active and fit and I feel like the workout is awesome and most of all it’s one of the best sports someone can play

How did you come to play handball? Who taught you how to play?

Damien – I live across the street from a handball court so I used to watch people play all the time. KI and Anthony (HHH) taught me.

Jhon – I learned how to play handball on my own. I started going to my park 85th street park and I started watching Herman play and I got hooked into the sport. Then I started practicing it a lot until I got better and better and still to this day I’m still wanting to become one of the greatest

Who do you look up to?

Damien – I look up 2 Rookie right now he’s still doing what he does best and wins

Jhon – I look up to Tavito because he shows great sportsman ship and humbleness. I feel like more people should be like him and have that motive and better sportsmanship