Israel Mateos from Sylmar is back home after traveling to Santiago, Chile for the 2023 Pan American Games, where he made history as the first American competitor in the new Frontball division of Pelota Vasca (Basque ball). Although he didn’t medal, he said, “I did not leave Chile defeated. I gained more than I could have ever expected – physically, mentally and spiritually. This experience has left me with a drive and motivation to be a top player representing my country.” Mateos said he will soon begin training for the 2024 Basque Pelota World Cup, which will be held in Venezuela next fall.