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Mobis Phoebus Has a Great Assistant

Posted January. 26, 2007 06:27,   


On January 25, the training camp of the Mobis Phoebus basketball club located in Suwon was filled with silence. The players all went out to enjoy the All-Star break, but sounds of heavy panting could be heard from the health club on the second floor of the gym. It was head coach Yoo Jae-hak (44) and his assistant Lim Geun-bae (40) running on the treadmill.

Both of them are so-called “geese-fathers,” with their kids and wives in the U.S., while they remain working here and earning money for them. After sweating together on their precious holiday, they also had lunch together at a nearby haejangguk restaurant in Yangpyeong.

“Except for the fact that we use separate rooms, it’s like we’re living together.”

In fact, Yoo and Lim have maintained the longest relationship as a “coaching staff couple” in the Korean Basketball League. Eight years have passed since 1999 when they started to work together for Daewoo Securities, and meanwhile, they have been always together as they continued on through Shinsegi Telecom, SK Bigs, and ETLand. They have overcome many troubles together. The teams they were on have been frequently disposed of via sales, and they even once finished a season with their team dead last in the standings. However, keeping trust in each other, they won the regular season last year, and Phoebus is topping the standings this season as well. This should be attributed to the firm teamwork of the coaching staff.

The role of assistant coach Lim is worth noticing here. Although he has never been on the same team with Yoo, with his particular friendliness, he is very good at connecting the players to the coach like a bridge. Having recurrent meetings with disappointed players who are getting less time to play or suffering from injuries, he worked hard to encourage them. Thanks to his efforts, players such as Woo Ji-won and Kim Dong-woo have gotten out of their slumps. Following Lim around like their elder brother, players are not hesitant to consult him about their problems.

Lim says, “Once Coach Yoo, from whom I have lots to learn, paints the big picture, I fill in the details such as managing the players.” According to Lim, they share the same “tastes” in that both not only enjoys spicy and salty dishes but also prefer strong teamwork to dependence on several star players.

Assistant coach Lim graduated from Kwangshin Commercial High School, where many other prominent forwards have attended, and played for Kyunghee University and Hyundai. Being 188cm tall, he was once a famous left-handed forward. He has gained some weight and is currently 115kg. His nickname “big tummy” (keun bae in Korean) is derived from his name.

Lim is helping Yoo as best as he can in order to accomplish another goal the team missed last year, being the comprehensive champion.