The Big Apple Event - January 2-3, 2010
Team Stuttgart Wins The Big Apple Championship
As we closed the curtain to the first Big Apple international team handball tournament we are left with a feeling of great and inspirational accomplishment, and against all odds we were able to put team handball in a spotlight at least for a weekend in New York City. The small gym of Park West HS was transformed to a warm, safe and comfortable place to play team handball. World flags were hanging in the walls of the gym representing every member nation of New York City THC. The Big Apple Tournament became the largest gathering of international handball stars in the United States since the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Without the full support of Park West HS this event wouldn’t have been possible. We are grateful to Gerard, Roger, Maureen, Mike and Bill for their backing during this event. We are thankful to Dan Wollman, and Thomas Peterson from Snapsports for becoming the official floor supplier of The Big Apple Tournament.
New York City THC is also thankful to USATH senior leadership Dieter Esch, Steve Pastorino and Dominique Dumont for attending this event and showing their support for New York City THC.
We also thanks and recognize the referees Gosia, Monika, Robert, Marek, and Stevo for the great job they did.
Thank you to the fans and friends for coming to support, and watch our games.
Almost all major German media outlets covered the first Big Apple Tournament. Stuttgarter Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine, two of the largest newspapers in the country, and Bild, which sells more than 4 million copies daily dedicated a storyline to our Big Apple event. During the All-Star game we also had media present from Eurosport, Handball Woche and Handball-world.com.
Also a big thanks to Karl Gladeck for leading the way and making The Big Apple Tournament a huge success.
Athletes from Germany together with their families, friends celebrated the New Years Eve at one of New York City THC sponsors “TONIC Bar” in the heart of Times Square where they watched together with million other people the famous, and spectacular ball drop at midnight. We are sure it was a memorable moment for all of them, as much as they made The Big Apple event a memorable event for all of us.
In a weekend that showcased dozens of current and former Toyota Bundesliga handball players, in the finals of The Big Apple Tournament the Team from Stuttgart defeated Teamsport (25:22) to win the first Big Apple Tournament.
The Most Valuable Player of the tournament was Stuttgarts captain Jorg Lutzelberger, who is a circle for VfL Gummersbach, one of the most storied clubs in German handball history.
The Most Valuable Goalkeeper of the tournament was Thomas Stubner, the goalie for runners-up Teamsport. Thomas is a physical therapist for soccer's Eintracht Frankfurt.
In the game for 3rd place Medialine 1 defeated NYC THC (17:13) and won bronze medal. Medialine 2 took fifth place by beating Korschtal 23:20.
The moment that more then 300 people were waiting for was the Sunday game between the Bundesliga All Stars and New York City THC. Stars including Lovgren, Vranjes, Gentzel, Fritz, Schwenke, Kurtagic, Weber, Machulla, Kuntz, and Hens were getting ready to play against Ignjatovic, Ostojic, Bicvic, Mustafa, Kolk, Nimura, Brunet, Bouclainville, and the other New York City THC amateur players.
It was a scene not many people in US imagined it could ever happen. But after getting on the floor shaking hands with top players in the world reality kicked in. New York City THC was going to play against some of the top players in the world.
Boys from Gotham didn’t disappoint, and stuck right with the All-stars until the end of first half. However, In the second half we were able to watch some beautiful plays that were breathtaking. The final score was 39:27. The entire roster of New York City THC had a chance to play in this game.
Many important faces from the strongest handball league in the world Bundesliga were present during The Big Apple Tournament. The General Manager of Bundesliga, Frank Bohmann, HSV Hamburg owner Andreas Rudolph, Rhein Neckar Lowen management including GM Thorsten Storm, TV Grosswallstadt president Georg Bollmann, player agent Marco Stange and many others came to this historic and friendly event.
It was a great and memorable weekend in New York City. Thank you and we’ll see you all next year.