Kevan Del Grande
San Jose YMCA
Inducted as a Contributor in 2010
by Mike Linnik
Being a 'Contributor' is like breathing air for Kevan. His attitude is 'no big deal, do what you can, help where it's needed, then play ball 'cuz it's your serve!'. Kevan is all about competition and camaraderie. To be in a position to help and support handball players .. that's a nice bonus. Kevan is direct and to the point. "help youth handball" ... "coach a player" ... "develop a ball that doesn't hurt" ... "show another player the tricks of the trade".
So who is Kevan Del Grande? A quick bio:
• Current World Champ ... 2009 World Singles/Doubles 75+ Champion.
• 2010 National Master's Singles 75's over Jim Economides (his "greatest achievement"). USHA Handball Hall of Fame as a "Grand Master" in 2003.
... and from the Time Capsule: 1985 National 50+ Doubles Champion (with Marty Goffstein) (Trivia: In 1985 Naty Alvarado Sr. slammed in the Pro Singles/Doubles with partner Vern Roberts. San Jose's own Sal Espinosa won the 70's).
So ... it's tough to win one National title. He's been winning National titles over a 25 year span!
So why Kevan? Did you know:
• Kevan has been supporting the San Jose Labor Day tourney for over 30 years.
• He has been directly responsible for bringing the Pro's players into the SJ labor Day tourney, a treat enjoyed by all the players.
• He has sponsored Junior players in attending the Pro Handball Camp, which featured Naty Alvarado Jr, Anton Wilson, James Komsthoeft, Norm Dunne, and Vern Roberts.
• Supplied Junior gloves/balls for the camps and tourneys for years.
• Sponsored the "Kevan Del Grande Nor Cal Junior Championships" (the name was Coach Roberto's idea!)
• Supported Bob Kass's Youth handball players to attend the Western Regionals Juniors tournaments in So Cal.
• NCHA "Diamond" Booster (Northern California).
• Long¬time supporter of the Youth Handball programs at the SJ YMCA
(Previously kids would bring sacks of pennies and nickels just to get in). Underwrote numerous youth entries for the Labor Day tourney. Endless ... many of these activities simply would not have happened without Kevan's help and passion to keep ball alive and well here in Northern California.
Kevan is the first guy to step forward and help. From John White and Sol Aber to Bob Kass and Rich Goosman ... if it was for the good of the game, and if young players were involved, Kevan is always the first guy to step forward and help.
The NCHA and all the Nor Cal handplayers want to take this time to recognize Kevan's decades¬long passion and long¬time support of the Perfect Game, both in Northern California and beyond. Players, coaches, kids, and Pro's have enjoyed countless good times and that special "camaraderie" due to his passion and sup-port. Kevan's kept the torch alive, and we have all benefited countless times from his contributions down through the years. Kevan Del Grande, welcome back to the NorCal Hall of Fame!