|Player Profiles: Theodore Mleczkowski
Writer: Kristina Chan
Growing up in Middle Village, Queens with a father who played handball meant that Theodore Mleczkowski was bound to discover it too. It was only a matter of time before his father introduced him to ace ball.
Handball began as only a hobby, which he picked up during the fourth grade to play during recess with his friends. It wasn’t until the end of 2007 when his true love for the sport manifested itself; he began to play competitively, joining numerous tournaments. His very first tournament was the 2007 Junior Nationals. With only two weeks of ace ball practice coached by his father, also his mentor, Theodore won 1st place in the 13 & under singles division, and was the semifinalist for the 15 & under doubles division.
When asked about his first impression of the sport, an immense smile, congruous with the bright glow on his cheeks, grew upon his face. “It’s fun; it’s intense, every game; it’s really something,” he said, completely in awe of his first memory of handball.
An exceptional athlete for a boy of his age, Theodore is also a remarkable student in the prestigious S.M.A.R.T program at Bayside High School where his studious habits earned him a well-deserved B+ average.
During his first year in high school and on the school’s handball team, he managed to earn a starter’s position. As the only freshmen starter, Theodore competed in PSAL matches and tournaments as 2nd singles in 2010. At the end of the successful season, his coach rewarded Theodore with the MVP (most valuable player) award, which he hopes to win again in upcoming years. Now a sophomore in high school, he continues his handball career as 2nd singles.
Theodore has the talent, the immense potential, and the palpable perseverance to achieve greatness. With much hope instilled in him, he carries the dream of becoming one of the most profound handball players who has ever lived, along with many others. While acknowledging his growing number of opponents, we can, however, put our faith in Theodore that he will carry that dream with great pride and excellent sportsmanship.
Only at the beginning of his handball career, he has already obtained quite a few bodacious titles:
2010 Nationals - C Doubles, 2nd place
2010 Junior Nationals - 15 & under singles, 1st place; 17 & under doubles, 1st place
2010 Mayor’s Cup - 15 & under singles, 1st place; 17 & under doubles, 1st place
2010 High School Spring Meet - 15 & under singles, 1st place; 17 & under doubles, 2nd place
2009 High School Spring Meet - 15 & under singles, 1st place; 17 & under doubles, 2nd place
2008 Big Ball Nationals - 13 & under singles, 1st place
2008 Small Ball Junior Nationals - 13 & under singles, 1st place; 15 & under doubles, semifinalist
This is only the beginning of his long, challenging journey to eminence. Fortunately, Theodore Mleczkowski is fully aware of the challenges he will face, and the ambitious handball fiend knows that challenges can only be beneficial.