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Story’s Makeover

Posted April. 07, 2005 23:38,   


How much more different can things be?

The tale concerns Abbey Story (age: 28, height: 193 cm), forward for the professional basketball team Trigem (TG). It’s as if he had been intentionally masking his talents.

TG coach Chun Chang-jin showered Story with praise while watching a taped broadcast of his team’s first-round match for the championship title against KCC on Thursday at his residence in Wonju. “Watch! His success rate shot up as he began avoiding long-shot throws and slowing down a notch. His movement while he doesn’t possess the ball has also improved.”

Just two weeks ago, Story was still being reprimanded by his coach at every turn, particularly because, for over two months since he donned the TG uniform in January as a foreign player, he shunned teamwork and excessively relied on his personal skills.

But the post-season has seen a completely transformed Story. His offensive skills, which had reaped an average of a mere 14 points during the regular season, jumped to 24 points during the semi-final match against Samsung. In Wednesday’s match against KCC, Story led his team to victory by netting 28 points including seven rebounds, the best performance among all the players in both teams. His success rate of two-pointers was an astounding 91%.

Story explained his transformation by saying, “Having moved teams during the midpoint of the regular season, I first experienced some confusion. But my emphasis on team effort allowed me to open my eyes and see the bigger picture.”

Unlike other overseas players who book rooms outside the boundary of the team compound when family members visit, Story likes to share his space at the players’ apartment complex with his family when they pay him a visit from the U.S. His reason: he needs to stay in constant synch with his team mates. He analyses videos of his team’s games during his leisure hours and even volunteers for night-time individual training sessions.

Even the TG players who were slow to warm up to Story in the beginning now dub him the jewel of their team. Story, who had until recently played for Samsung SK, remarked, “TG functions not by the effort of any one player, but when all of its members come together and play as a team. I will not allow the joy of a first-round victory to cloud my focus. By concentrating on my defense and my rebounds, I will pull my team to the top.”

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com