“Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” – John Shipp
This week we highlight a young athlete that has had a rare opportunity to travel overseas to play wallball (handball). He grew up in Queens, New York and currently attends college while working part-time in a family business. Aside from being a responsible young adult, he’s set some steep goals for himself which include more international travel, sport domination and above all keeping a positive attitude even during defeat. Congratulations to our new Player of the Week – Jhon Bermudez
Q: How were you introduced to the sport of wallball (handball)?
A: I started playing wallball in 2012 in Gorman Park, located on 85th St. and 30th Ave in Queens, NY. When I watched my first game of wallball I was immediately inspired to play. I have a competitive nature which motivated me to train just to see how good I could actually become at a sport that is so popular in NYC. Rookie, who is regarded as the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) in the sport pushed me to want to achieve more than just credibility at my park. He encouraged me to compete against other people in other parks to test my abilities and I did.
Q: What opportunities have come your way as a result of playing wallball that you may not have otherwise had a chance to experience?
A: Just recently I traveled to Colombia to play in the Wallball World tournament and I came in 3rd place. I’ve also traveled to Ecuador to participate in a wallball tournament in which I came in 1st place. Being outside of the United States and playing wallball is a lot of fun. I’ve experienced things I’ve never experienced before. I am definitely looking forward to traveling the world to play my favorite sport. It has given me a new perspective in life.
Q: Is there any advice you’d like to give players who are trying to be the best just like you are?
A: Never give up. I received questions from people of all ages asking me how I’ve become a better player than I was 2-3 years ago because many see that I’ve come up quickly. My response is always the same; without giving up, perseverance and to always keep going for what you want until you reach that goal. Then, you move on to your next goal and accomplish that one as well. There’s always more than one goal you should set for your life and give it everything you have to achieve it.