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“Basketball Master” Returns to Court as Coach

Posted May. 16, 2005 23:31,   


Maybe he was nervous? His voice, usually eloquent, seemed to shake a little. But it had strength, and it reflected his high hopes for the future.

He is the new coach for the KCC pro basketball team, Huh Jae (40).

He started a phone interview by stating that he will forget all about his status as the “Basketball Genius” and “Basketball Master.” He will erase his past as a star basketball player during the past 30 years and start humbly as a novice coach.

“I must admit, I am a little scared because this is my first time as coach. But I am old enough, and I have experience as a basketball player, so I’ll try my best to lead the team.”

He spoke with conviction as though he was ready.

“The KCC starters are very talented, so I believe we can get to the top if we can pick good foreign players.”

Huh Jae, currently studying in the United States, temporarily returned to Korea to watch the championship finals between TG and KCC. He had originally come to cheer TG, but he says it also provided him with an opportunity to study KCC’s strategy.

He said that as long as they strengthen their post position game, physical challenges will not be a burden on the starters, Cho Sung-won and Lee Sang-min.

Huh did not forget to show his appreciation for his father, Huh Jun, who frequently sent him recorded videos of KBL games.

Huh, with his unique charisma, stated that “I will lead the players in a way that they will follow, even without specific instructions. I trust that team management will take care of the contracts.”

It is said that most star players do not make star coaches. In the recent years, however, former stars are seeing success as coaches, as in the case of Cha Bum-keun (coach of the pro soccer team Samsung) and Sun Dong-ryul (coach of the pro baseball team Samsung). With that in mind, we hope he keeps his promise that he “will become a great coach.”

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com