Recognizing the Greats: Who Insipired Today's Pros?

Who Inspired Today’s Pros?
By David Fink and Matt Krueger

Reaching the apex in performance for a pro athlete requires dedication, talent, endless practice, passion, and all of the intangibles which includes:  inspiration.  Every handball pro was inspired as a young player, either by watching a top player, meeting a top player, taking a lesson with a pro, or even just having the opportunity to have a conversation with a pro. Junior handball players are fortunate to have the opportunities to share the court with today’s pro players at virtually every major handball tournament, providing today’s juniors with the spark and inspiration to become the next generation of stars. Many of today’s younger pros were inspired by today’s veteran pros, meaning they are often playing their heroes!

We reached out to a number of today’s top handball stars, and they quickly fired back responses remembering the moment that a handball pro gave them inspiration. 

R48 #1 and current world champion Killian Carroll:

     “It was when Tony Healy conceded his three timeouts in the 2003 World Championships in Dublin, because Paul Brady was cramping badly in the final.  The ref would not give Paul the injury timeout, so Tony gave all the time outs he had left. Tony eventually lost in the tiebreaker.   Plus, Tony’s methodical game was mesmerizing to watch. 

Tony Healy

     Eamonn Murphy my junior coach, and while he wasn’t the best at teaching skill, he always made sure you gave it your best and gave it gusto. He would usually say. “Make sure of it!”
     “Hit the ball at the bottom of the wall!” And “keep the ball on the wall” But the most incredible thing was my old coach would spend time with anyone and drive them anywhere for a game, no matter what their ability was, as long as they showed interest. To me it was the most inspiring attribute and my first coach, Billy O’Connell had this as well, as did my father Don.
     People in my later years still inspire me to this day and I don’t think I could ever live up to the legacy they will leave in the sport.  People who come to mind are Don Quinlan, Mike Dau and Fred Lewis just to name a few. These few people I think are the true champions of the sport.”

Who inspired other Pros like Luis Cordova Jr., Vic Perez, Megan McCann and Timbo Gonzalez?  READ MORE...



David Fink is the Senior Writer, Donor & Player Development Director for World Players of Handball.  

Matt Krueger is the Development Coordinator for the United States Handball Association. 

Watch for more WPH & USHA collaborations in 2020!

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