Inducted as a Player in 1995
by Janet Paulson, Blake Fontenay, edited by Geoff Capell
Jack Austin of Fair Oaks has a handball career that spans six decades. It includes being the school champion for Franklin High School in Highland Park in 1938, champion of the University of California, LA, in 1940 where he played with former LA Rams coach Bob Waterfield, and the 1987 USHA champ in the 65?s. He entered his first tournament at North Hollywood High, where a peeled tennis ball served as the handball, and the court consisted of one wall and three lines drawn in the dirt. He said he cried when he lost.
He has won both the singles and doubles tournament for players 70 and over in a world tournament in Phoenix. Austin says the secrets for playing handball well are similar to qualities needed in boxing---determination, physical endurance and playing a lot. Ambidexterity is extremely important. Speed, agility and experience are key also.
Congratulations on your introduction into the Northern California Handball Hall of Fame.