Player Profile – Dennis Kaminsky
The name Dennis Kaminsky has been associated with South Park Table Tennis for over 10 years. Dennis has been a true leader for the club, serving as a fine player, coach, and assistant organizer. He has been an active player since the 1970’s. Dennis has an unusual hybrid defensive game, a lefty penholder with anti and inverted fast rubber. He combines a chopping game with a nice spin and counter smash game, demonstrating excellent ball control and crafty strategies. He is greatly admired for his tenacity and focus and for his selfless service to his fellow club members. Dennis is among the first to offer fine tips and coaching, especially to the less experienced players.
Dennis, how did you come to decide to take up the table tennis?
A friend helped me learn table tennis, and I taught him to play chess.
When did you start, and where?
I learned at Penn State Greater Allegheny campus in 1970, and continued, after graduating from the PSU Main campus, with my job at IBM in Poughkeepsie, NY, for 30 years.
Who were some of your greatest influences as you progressed?
I enjoyed playing at the IBM Table Tennis Club and my favorite World Class player was Desmond Douglas of England.
What was pong like locally and nationally when you started?
I played in the middle of nowhere, but I was a two-hour drive from many sanctioned table tennis tournaments. The Seemiller brothers and the Boggan brothers were top national players at that time.
How has the sport changed since you started? What were your favorite personal moments in the sport?
The game is much faster now and all of the top players are incredible athletes. I enjoyed and played in the top national tournaments throughout the country, as well as many smaller tournaments in over 20 different states. I also watched, in person, the World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden and the 1988/2000/2012 Summer Olympics table tennis events.
How would you describe your playing style?
Very unorthodox for a penholder, by combining a modern defensive style with a counter smash.
What type of players gives you the most trouble?
Players with very good control give me trouble. Also very strong attackers, of course!
Last, tell us a little more about your hobbies. What else occupies your time and interest?
I also played volleyball and enjoy Sudoku puzzles.