was your most memorable win?
Ervin Irizarry: Well my most memorable win
thinking back as far as I could remember was against Buddy Gantt in a singles
semi-finals match at West 4th
Street in the Village. I Defeated Buddy 21-19 to advance to the Finals to
face Emmitt Fitzpatrick . In this same Tournament I also won matches against
Mike Falcis 21-12
and Umberto Baez 21-6 (Ray Lopez's old Handball Partner), and a couple of other
players That I could not remember their names . Beating the Legendary Buddy
Gantt in a singles and not a doubles was a great accomplishment for me. There
are not that many players out there who can say they Beat Buddy in his prime so
to speak . He's still the GREATEST Handball Player ever, next to Abby the man
who introduced and showed me how to play the game of Handball.
Buddy is my second IDOL in this sport . Those are the two players who I like to
credit my Handball Skills too . If it weren't for Abby and Buddy I would have
never played this game .
What was your worst defeat?
Ervin Irizarry: My
worst defeat was at the NY City-Wide Championships a
couple of years back in the Finals against the team of Ray Lopez and Shawn
Conrad. Where one of the greatest if not the greatest Volleys in Handball
History was witnessed. To this day many conversations are brought up about that
volley. We lost 21-20.
What is your winning strategies?
Ervin Irizarry: The
Strategies I use are... Well I don't like to talk about them, because my
opponents can learn about them. Basically to get position in front of my
opponent so that I may kill the ball in front of me. That's just one of them;
let's just say I have nice defense. It's hard to get the ball past me when I'm
focused and concentrating on my match.
you have any Fitness Tips for young players?
Irizarry: I really do not exercise much, only
when I play this game, as for staying Hydrated I drink a lot of Gatorade and
stay in the shade when it's really hot. I hope that was informative
enough it's all I know.
Why do you love this game?
Irizarry: When I was growing up this Guy I
knew named Abby took me to the Handball courts and introduced me to the sport.
He showed me
everything there was to know about this game, the more I played with him
the more he taught me. My love for this game kept growing and growing and keeps
growing up to this day. Handball is the only game that I grew up with, and I
learned to love with all my heart . It's the only Sport I truly have grown to
What are your Future Goals in Handball and in Life:
Irizarry: To continue to get even better in
Handball, and continue to win Handball Tournaments. Also to be recognized as one
of the best all around Players the sport of Handball has ever had; and to be the
greatest defensive players as well. In life I pray to God to continue to give
me strength, health, happiness, love and blessings, so I may continue to give
my family the life they so richly deserve. GOD BLESS US ALL . See you all at the
Handball courts . Ervin.
Interviewed by JR - February 2004
Ervin Irizarry continues to be a dominant force in Doubles competition. Ervin
and partner Robert "Ice Man" Sostre have won numerous Championships. His peers
consider him the most consistent player in the game today.