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“Tiger Basketball Team” Has New Claws

Posted October. 12, 2005 07:04,   


It is a great honor to become a sports leader at one’s alma mater. Though one may feel more pressure in coaching those who are following one’s footsteps, it is also more rewarding.

Head Coach Jin Hyo-jun of Korea University’s basketball team has recently been leading Korea University’s team, which was like a “paper tiger (tiger is the animal symbolizing Korea University),” into becoming one of the most powerful teams in university basketball once again.

After winning all six games in the first season of the National University Basketball League in June, coming in first place for the first time in four years, the KU basketball team became the champion in the second season last week. The KU team has not triumphed in consecutive seasons in 10 years since 1995 when star players like Jeon Hee-cheol, Kim Byung-cheol, Hyun Ju-yeop, and Shin Gi-sung were on the team. The KU team also enjoyed victory in its annual game with rival Yonsei University last month for the first time in four years.

Jin is at the center of this winning streak. Taking the post early last year, he is finally bearing fruit from his efforts after a year of preparing the team.

“Following the KU basketball team’s tradition, I stressed for the players to regain their confidence and responsibility for their positions, and this brought about positive results.”

Jin encouraged his players, who were overcome by defeat, giving them conviction that they could win and concentrated on enhancing their ability to overcome adversities at critical junctures. He held workshops for coaching staff members, players and parents twice a year, strengthened teamwork, and enhanced the team’s performance with the Mt. Taebaek physical training and the Seattle training.

Jin, who spends so much time with the players that the days he has gone home since June are few and far between, turned the credit to others, saying, “I would like to thank the university for sparing no support and the players for trusting in me and following my lead.”

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com