Juniper Valley Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, August 7, 2006

Intern Throws A “Killer” Handball Tournament

Long Tran, an intern working with Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski this summer, threw a “killer” handball tournament at Juniper Valley Park on July 22 and July 23.  “Killer” is handball jargon for a ball that hits the wall at the lowest point making it very difficult to return the ball to the opposing team player.

Despite the ominous cloud presence, 96 players ages 15-20 showed up to compete in the exciting C-Doubles Handball Tournament.  Set-up began at about 7:00 a.m. with barricades, pop-up tents and tables.  At 8:00 a.m., the floor opened for registration and people flooded in by the dozens.  As the bracket and score sheets were drawn up, many players began to warm up and practice on the courts.  Michael Watson of the United States Handball Association and Frank Catapano of Juniper Valley Park were both present to help administer the event.
Borough Commissioner Lewandowski gave a warm welcome to all of the players and Tran announced the rules and officially set the tournament in motion. Handball gloves and protective eyewear were supplied for competitor safety. After team names were called out and players made their way to the courts, the action began.  Due to the good turnout, 20 teams played simultaneously on ten courts.

The first and second rounds sped by but, just before the quarterfinals were just about to start, a significant rainstorm developed.  The hungry players were thrilled to have a break to enjoy the free food and drinks that was donated by local businesses, including Met Foodmarkets, Dunkin’ Donuts and BJ’s Wholesale Club.

The next day, light drizzle delayed the quarterfinals for about an hour, but then the players headed right back into the game.  In the semifinals, Aditta Kittikhoun and Thomas Chin faced a tough match against Andres Calle and Kenny Maldonado.  They were trailing for most of the game but made a late comeback and took the game 21-20.  In the other semifinal game, Brian and Michael Sitarevich took down the John Amen and Sean Delavsa team to advance to the finals.  Kittikhoun and Chin then triumphed in the finals, winning by a score of 25-17.  First place trophies were awarded to Kittikhoun and Chin, second place to Sitarevich and Sitarevich and third to Calle and Maldonado.

Borough Commissioner Lewandowski said, “I was very impressed by the cooperative efforts of my staff, including Recreation and Operations, who worked with Long to help him throw a successful event.  Long learned a valuable lesson in event planning, coordinating with various divisions and the importance of community outreach.”

A special thank you to Michael Watson of the United States Handball Association, Frank Catapano of Juniper Valley Park, Met Foodmarkets, Dunkin’ Donuts, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Sign-A-Rama and Queens Recreation and Operations and for their contribution in making this a fun and enjoyable event. 

Written by Susan Friedman and Long Tran


“Musicians don't retire; they stop when there's no more music in them.”

Louis Armstrong
(1901 – 1971)

Directions to Juniper Valley Park

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