By Mark Fuerst
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Eastern Athletic Club (EAC) crowned a new wallyball King and Queen in the annual King/Queen of the Court tournament held at the EAC recently. The title of King of the Court now belongs to Alejandro Flores, the tallest King ever at 6 feet, 7 inches. Rewa Chan won the Queen of the Court, a crown she has worn four times previously.
Twelve men and six women, all open-level competitors, battled it out for top honors on Feb. 24, playing with and against each other during round-robin play at the EAC in Brooklyn Heights.
The players tallied up their points to 15 points per game for a total of 16 games for the men and 10 games for the women. This invitation-only event was sponsored by Wallyball International Inc. (WII), the American Wallyball Association (AWA) and the EAC itself.
The 30-year-old Flores, who nickname is “Caballito” or little horse, has been playing wallyball at the EAC since he was 17. The tall athlete has also played professional basketball in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and mostly recently Venezuela.
“The competition was incredible this year,” says EAC wallyball coach George L. Cassius. “We had some of the tallest male players ever playing. Many of the top six finalists were over 6 feet tall. Interestingly, five out of the top 12 players selected, including three out of six finalists, were former winners of King of the Court.”
The other five finalists besides Flores were Yan Lager, who finished second; Dominic Griffin, Eric Archer, Justin Kazmark, and Mike Salak. Winner Flores took home $600 in prize money.
On the women’s side, it came down to a two-way tie between Chan and Melissa Mowery, with Chan winning on most points scored. “Chan made a comeback from last year’s loss in the finals to win yet again,” says Cassius, noting that Chan has won the most Queen of the Court events of any competitor. “Mowery moved up one spot, having finished third last year.” Chan won $150 in prize money.
Next year will see the return of Iris Gong, last year’s Queen of the Court winner. Gong could not compete because she was in her eight month of pregnancy, but she says she is looking forward to coming back next year.
“This was the 28th year for this unique event, and we continue to draw the best players in the sport of wallyball to the EAC,” says Cassius. He noted that information from wallyspot (www.wallyspot.com) was used to crunch statistics and produce colorful charts for the tournament.
Regular wallyball action for players of all levels is in full swing every Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. at the EAC.