USA Team Handball IHF Pan Am Handball

720 shoot-out goal with Ebiye Udo Udoma

Article Credit: Handball World News

It was an impressing goal scored by Ebiye Jeremy, a 720 - just enjoy the video at the end of the article. "The video of the 720 was actually the second time I did it that day", said Ebiye Jermey asked by handball-world.com about this goal and he added: "The first one was even better, but we unfortunately didn"t have any cameras around." In the interview Ebiye Jeremy gives three advices to others who want to try the shot and he talks about the Pan-Am Championships in Beachhandball and the development of this sport in the USA.

What are your aims for the Pan-Am Championships? 

Ebiye Udo Udoma:
With anything you do in life you want to do your best, so we are going into Vargas aiming for the Gold Medal and a ticket to the World Championships in Hungary this summer. Our team motto is "Win the Play" and if we do that enough times the results will take care of themselves." 

Who are the favorites for the title? 

Ebiye Jeremy:
Brazil would probably be the favorites, but because they won the previous World Championship they don`t have to compete to qualify for the competition in Hungary and they have elected not to compete. I don`t know what the rankings of the other countries are, but I try not to get caught up in that hype and I keep my focus on doing my best regardless of the opponent. 

How would you rate the overall level of performance at the Pan-Am Championships? 

Ebiye Udo Udoma:
I`ll let you know in two weeks at the end of the tournament ... 

How popular is Beach Handball in the USA? 

Ebiye Udo Udoma:
Handball as a whole is relatively unknown in the US. We have had an indoor handball national team for decades, but we`ve only had marginal success and we don`t have many youth teams in the country. Our women`s beach team played for the 1st time in 2012 and our men`s team is playing its first international tournament next week at the Pan-American Championships in Venezuela. 

We have generated a lot of buzz in the past several weeks with my 720 goal going viral and because we are currently training with the Brazilian Men`s National Team. If we place in the top 2 next week and qualify for Hungary I think there will be a strong increase in the popularity of the sport in the United States. 

It`s a big goal of the IHF to make beach handball become an Olympic sport. Do you think that"s realistic? 

Ebiye Udo Udoma:
That is a big part of what we are playing for in the US, to make beach handball a 2024 Olympic sport. We are hosting the inaugural World Beach Games in September of 2017 in San Diego, CA and we hope to show the Olympic committees that beach handball is a great attraction. In my, admittedly biased, opinion, beach handball embodies the Olympic spirit more than any other sport. 

Beach handball is a spectacle which offers a unique combination of technical acumen and flair that rewards brain and brawn equally. It`s a sport that can be played and enjoyed at both young age and old age due to it`s low-impact nature, but it`s still a sport where top athletes continue to push the limits of what`s possible as an athlete. 

In beach handball the spectators have as good of a time, if not a better time, than the players. And most importantly beach handball is a fair play sport where you and your opponents push one another to be your best self, which is what sport is ultimately about. 

You did a 720 shoot-out goal. How many times you do this shot successful in your career? Do you have some tips to practice this shot? 

Ebiye Udo Udoma:
The video of the 720 was actually the second time I did it that day. The first one was even better, but we unfortunately didn`t have any cameras around. My advice to others who want to try the shot: 

A. Be warmed up. Have your teammates cheer you on as you go for it, the energy and excitement you have before the jump is as important as the jump itself.

B. Right before you jump you want to have your arms wide and away from your body so you can generate more rotational force. Once you are in the air you want to bring your arms to your chest as tight as you can like an Olympic figure skater does. You want to spot the goalkeeper after you do the first spin so you can decide how you want to shoot on the second spin. Most goalkeepers will already commit to their action expecting you just to do one spin, so a lob or chabala will be effective. 

C. The most important tip for doing a 720...make sure you have a camera ready! As we say in America, "Pics or it didn`t happen" 

Cornel Novac

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