Racquetball Betting

Edmonton to feature in upcoming documentary about racquetball’s Michael Jordan

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These days, you can’t be called the Michael Jordan of your sport without some sort of accompanying documentary.

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At a time when nearly the entire sports realm had to be shut down to accommodate social distancing and isolation measures, all eyes were on Netflix’s 10-part docuseries The Last Dance as His Airness reflected a NBA career that may never be matched.

And make no mistake, Kane Waselenchuk is quite the Air Jordan of the racquetball world having built a kingdom inside 40-foot-by-20-foot glass houses over the past two decades.

As for the obligatory documentary, one is coming soon to a streaming service near you, which the Edmonton-born and raised racquetball regent had already started working on long before the Chicago Bulls relived their second hat-trick of the ’90s.

The numbers cannot be exactly compared between the game of the NBA and racquetball, which has seen a decline in popularity in North America since its heyday. It was around the same time that the 22-year-old Jordan was named 1984-85 Rookie of the Year and would go on to raise the profile of basketball internationally like no other.

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And while Jordan finished with six championships, 10 goalscoring titles and three league MVPs, Waselenchuk is just as impressive, albeit on a different scale, with over 600 match wins and 120 Tier 1 singles titles. , while capturing majors in all 15 US Opens. he played.

And his numbers still matter, of course. Or will be, at least, as soon as the International Racquetball Tour aims to resume in September.

But, just like MJ, who was about to turn 37 when he left the Bulls, Waselenchuk, 38, knows the proverbial writing is scrawled on the wall, even if he isn’t looking for it yet. absolutely.

“I just have to listen to my body. And as long as I still have that fire and that drive to want to compete and be better and do better, I will continue to do that for as long as I can,” said Waselenchuk, who has started taking his first steps in coaching. Kingdom. “I want to pass on some of my knowledge to the next generation of players. And also, I also don’t want to be known as the greatest player to ever star in the game’s demise.

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“What a lot of people don’t understand is there’s a lot of pressure on me in terms of the game, but I feel like there’s equal pressure on me to be able to keep going. to carry the torch because the reality of the situation is no one has the clout that I do. And until someone comes along and does anything close to what I did, the value of the IRT and the value of the players is just on my shoulders I feel. And it’s tough when it comes to talking about contracts, it’s tough in every way.

The IRT itself grew by a handful of tournament stoppages a season ago, as well as attracting recognizable new sponsorships, including My Pillow.

“There are a lot of young guys on tour right now stepping up. In the last US Open, I faced a young Bolivian, he is 24 years old,” Waselenchuk said of Conrrado Moscoso. “So there’s definitely some new blood coming in, which is nice to see.

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“With the milestones we’re taking and the investors who have invested in the tour, I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

That’s all a lot of documentary fodder, of course. With deeper questions surrounding a two-year suspension from the sport and severing ties with the governing body of racquetball in his own country.

As things stand, the Austin-based king of the court doesn’t travel to Edmonton often, but the documentary will change that. Working with decorated director Timothy Blackwood, Waselenchuk plans to visit what was his former stomping ground before moving to Austin, Texas at age 19 in his pursuit of excellence.

“I want people to understand that it’s not easy whether you’re in a mainstream sport or not,” Waselenchuk said. “There are so many adversities I had to go through, so many sacrifices I had to make to put myself in a position to succeed. Not to succeed, but just to potentially put myself in this position, not knowing if I would or not.

“So just letting people know where I grew up and, look, I was very limited in my opportunities, but I made the most of my opportunities and surrounded myself with people who generally wanted to see me grow. in life. And I think that’s the hardest thing for a lot of people who have never played a high-level sport. I tell young kids all the time, ‘Remember, there’s there will be many types of people who will want to be around you.” Be careful who you let into your circle.

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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