At the Southern California Beach Handball Championships I interviewed National Team athlete and USA Team Handball Board Member, Ebiye, Udo-Udoma. Ebiye, who has adopted the moniker, the Handball Ninja is well known in the beach community, both domestically and internationally.
We discussed the tournament, the state of beach handball and the challenges of getting beach handball on the Olympic Program given the IOC’s athlete quota that limits a summer games to no more than 10,500 athletes. I then throw him a bit of a curveball question, in that given this quota and the greater chances a USA beach team would have to medal: Should USA Team Handball consider the possibility of taking actions that could lead to an IOC/LA 2028/USOPC/IHF decision to swap beach for the traditional indoor game at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles?
I attended the 2023 Southern California Beach Handball Championships this past weekend and while there I had the opportunity to interview several athletes and coaches. In this interview I caught up with Alex Browne. Alex has played for the U.S. Men’s National team and he and wife Missy (a Women’s National Team athlete) have led the effort to start the Sea Dragons Beach Handball Club in San Diego. And, arguably the Sea Dragons are a model club that other newcomers might be wise to emulate. We discuss how the club got started and, of course, also talk a little Quidditch (urr… Quadball) (And, FYI, he’s represented the U.S. in Quadball, too)
Colton Strickler is a media representative for DNVR Rugby. The Colorado XO Rugby Club is a rugby club located in Glendale, Colorado that is focused on rugby training for crossover or “talent transfer” athletes from other sports. In just 2 years time this program has had 6 athletes sign pro rugby contracts with Major League Rugby, the relatively new pro rugby competition started in the U.S.
On the podcast we discuss:
Why Rugby’s experience is applicable to handball
The XO athlete that triggered this whole podcast: Link
Colton’s rugby background
Rugby talent transfer: Rugby 7s vs Rugby 15s
How the Colorado XOs got started
Colorado XO Recruiting Strategies
Sports the XOs target
The limited post collegiate options for American athletes
Colorado XO finances (generalities, not specifics)
How the Colorado XO schedule is a bit like Notre Dame football
Joey Williams is the President of the Detroit Handball Club. In Part 1 of our two part conversation we discuss the trials and tribulations of his efforts to start the Detroit Club. For the most part he’s been very successful getting the Detroit Club started in the middle of a pandemic, no less.
Here are some links related to our discussion
Joey’s 2016 experience at a European GK Camp: Link
Joey’s 2019 experience at the ISI Sports Academy in Denmark: Link
2019 Commentary which discussed the hurdles of starting a new club: Link
Nicole Andersen, has been playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team since 2015. She has Danish and American citizenship and currently plays her club handball for AS Cannes Mandelieu in the French 2nd Division.
In Part 2 of our interview we first discuss Cannes Mandelieu’s current relegation battle and her adjustment to a new role as defensive specialist. We then look back at the U.S. Women’s National Team competitions in 2019 and look ahead to the 2021 North American & Caribbean Championship which will take place this August in Elgin, Illinois.
Cannes plays this Sunday at 1600 CET / 1000 US ET and the match will be available on their Facebook page. Follow Team Handball News on social media for regular updates on live streams for matches played by U.S. National Team players: TwitterFacebookInstagram
Don’t miss an episode:
Subscribe on YouTube: Link (Earliest Availability)
Nicole Andersen, has been playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team since 2015. She has Danish and American citizenship and currently plays her club handball for AS Cannes Mandelieu in the French 2nd Division. In Part 1 of our interview we discuss how she started playing handball, became a member of the U.S. National Team and her experience this season playing during the pandemic.
Toma Rimac, joins the podcast and we take a deep dive into the betting odds for the upcoming Handball World Championships. This is a little bit different from your typical preview show as what might be a good bet is often different from predicting who will win. (Important Note: This podcast was recorded prior to all the COVID related developments on 12 January)
There’s a long line of handball brothers playing for their country in international handball competition. France’s Bertrand and Guillaume Gille, Spain’s Alex and Daniel Dujshebaev, Poland’s Krzysztof and Marcin Lijewski, Argentina’s Diego, Pablo and Sebastian Simonet and Chile’s Emil, Erwin and Harald Feuchtmann to name a few. Why, even the U.S. had the Fitzgerald brothers (Joe and Tom) representing at the 1996 Olympics. Now added to this long line are Team USA’s Hueter brothers, Ian and Patrick.
Ian and Patrick join the podcast to discuss several topics to include their handball origins, connections to the U.S. despite mostly growing up in Germany, playing for TSV Bayer Dormagen youth teams and transitioning to the pro club, playing in the super competitive HBL 2, their recent contract extensions with Dormagen, Team USA’s upcoming training camp in Denmark and, of course, the upcoming 2021 World Championships.
In Part 1, I chatted with Marxwell Masauna Frederiksen and Jackson Howden about their handball backgrounds. In Part 2 we discuss the cancellation of the North American & Caribbean Championship and the IHF’s decision to give the U.S. the NACHC slot for the Men’s World Championships. We also talk about the future of the NACHC including the possibility of the roommates playing against each other, the NACHC getting more spots for the WC, the possibility of Greenland playing in the PANAM Games/Olympic Games, expansion of the Forum Club Handball (FCH) program to help other NACHC nations and the development of beach handball in Greenland and Canada. Beach Handball in Greenland?
Greenlander, Marxwell Masauna Frederiksen and Canadian, Jackson Howden are roommates and play for Skjern Handball‘s 2nd team in Denmark. In Part 1 of this interview we discuss their respective handball journeys and playing in Denmark.
Andreas Hertelt played 13 seasons in the German Bundesliga and represented his country in 10 international games. He has been a Team Leader for the U.S. Men’s National Team and he has been facilitating the placement of U.S. players with European clubs. On the podcast we discuss this program which is financially supported by the Forum Club Handball (FCH) and the U.S. players currently participating in it.
The death of George Floyd in Minnesota and the Black Lives Matter protests that have taken place all over the U.S., and even around the world have brought the issue of racial discrimination against African Americans in the U.S. to the forefront.
While for the most part overt racism has been practically nonexistent in USA Team Handball circles underneath the surface there have been issues at play that have likely kept African American participation numbers down.
Joining me to discuss this issue and more are 1996 Olympian, Derek Brown, former North Carolina coach and U.S. Jr National Team Asst Coach, Myles Bacon and NYAC/National Team player and USA Team Handball New York City Ambassador, Divine Jackson.
Here is some background information for some of the items that are discussed in the podcast:
Link to the recent USA Team Handball Newsletter: Link
USA Team Handball’s Current Diversity & Inclusion Plan: Link (Note this plan was actually approved in 2017 and called for the formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Committee back then. It would seem that recent events have provided an impetus for getting this work started.)
Don’t miss an episode: – Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes: Link – Or use this RSS Feed to sign up for the podcast in your favorite podcast aggregator: Link
And, be sure to check out the podcast archive with interviews and great handball discussion going all the way back to 2006: Link