With integrity as his weapon, Kim starts a second life as a novice coach

May 26, 2023 0 Comments

“Sincerity in the second act!”

A knee injury ended his playing career. Kim Young-hwan, 39, has been recognised as an icon of integrity in professional basketball for 16 years thanks to his thorough body care. He is now known as “Coach Kim Young-hwan KT”. When he got the opportunity he had been dreaming of for a long time, he boldly chose to retire. He is now pursuing a new dream as a coach, using his sincerity as a weapon.

Fighting prejudice in the past

Kim Young-hwan formed a double wall with Yang Hee-jong (retired) in the Gimhae Gayago. He began his professional career with KTF as the eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft, averaging 8.9 points in 665 games over 16 seasons. There was some disappointment when he joined the team. When he entered the pro ranks after playing at Korea University, the assessment was different. While Yang Hee-jong was drafted second overall, Kim Young-hwan dropped to eighth. This was due to a knee injury.토토사이트

“My knee has been bad since I was in junior high school,” says Kim, “but I wasn’t in the mood to talk about it at the time. I was playing in the provinces, so I didn’t get an accurate diagnosis. My knee hurt, but I thought it was growing pains. I played through the pain,” he recalls. “I had surgery in college, but the results were not good. I played my first year as a professional, but when I was preparing for my second season, my knee was not in good shape. I had to have surgery.”

He also received some shocking news during his diagnosis. “I went to a lot of hospitals in Korea that I thought were good. My knee was so bad that I was told, ‘If you continue to get sick during rehabilitation, you should retire. “At that time, coach Choo Il-seung made an inquiry. I went to Germany for an examination and was told that I could recover to 80 to 90 per cent, if not 100 per cent, with hard work. It gave me hope,” he explains.

Kim’s knee injury, which he has had since childhood, is the reason why he has spent his life taking care of his body. “It was hard at first,” says Kim, who was known for his fitness regime during his time on active duty. I also liked to drink alcohol, but once I had a goal, it was easy to give up those things. I gave up my personal life to play basketball, which I love,” he says. “I could feel my body improving as I worked out. I was so happy. Working hard to overcome my knee injury was the key to my longevity.”

The hard work didn’t pay off. She dispelled the myth that her knee injury would prevent her from playing for a long time. He played for 16 years. “I’m competitive,” Kim said. When I hear bad things around me, I think, ‘I’ll show you. Rather than being swayed by negative reviews, I was stimulated and made a lot of efforts,” he laughed.

Words that helped him decide to retire

Last year, I signed a two-year contract with KT. He recently announced his retirement with one year left on his contract. “There was a change in the team,” Kim said. The club made me an offer first. I loved basketball so much that I had big dreams of becoming a coach. “I thought about how much more I could show as a player if I played for one more year, and I need to get some playing time to perform. When I put all these things together, I thought it was right to accept this opportunity.”

His wife’s words were also crucial. “She said, ‘You’ve been a leader since you were a kid, so what better opportunity could there be?’ She said, ‘You’ve done enough, you should stop. At first, I was embarrassed, but then I realised she was saying it for me, and it helped me make the decision without regret.”

Retired players often travel abroad for coaching training to clear their heads. Kim chose to stay on the court in the Korean Professional Basketball League, “I actually spent a lot of time on the bench last season (laughs). It would have been a good experience to go to a training camp, but I think there are a lot of good managers and coaches in Korea, so I thought it would be more helpful to ask them and get experience on the field. I think it will be more helpful for me to be physically involved and grow.”

Coach Kim Young-hwan’s beginnings

Kim has been a captain for many years since his playing days, and his leadership skills are already well known. Although he is a novice coach, he is confident in leading the juniors. “As a captain, I learnt a lot about how to lead a team. If I make the first move, the younger players will follow it wholeheartedly. It was a time for me to develop personally as a captain. I cherish it.”

From being a veteran representing KT, Kim now has to assist head coach Song Young-jin as a novice coach. “I boldly abandoned my previous thoughts,” said Kim. I will start my coaching career with the mindset of starting from scratch. Until a few years ago, I had a certain kind of basketball I wanted to play when I became a coach. The advice I got was that if you stop playing and start coaching right away, your own ideas can become too strong. I’ve heard a lot about how it can narrow your view of the game,” he explains.

“Right now, I’m trying to start with a blank slate. I watch a lot of different basketball videos. “I’m trying to start with a blank slate and watch a lot of different basketball videos. I think watching different things will give me an idea of what kind of basketball I want to play in the future.” “I’m learning the basics, like how to look at player data and analyse foreign players,” he added.

His biggest weapon as a coach is also his integrity. He hopes to keep the same strengths he had as a player. “In sports, it’s all about natural talent. I thought about what kind of talent I had. Until now, all I had was hard work. Then my wife said, ‘Sincerity is the biggest talent. She told me that the fact that I was able to play for so long without having many natural talents is a talent in itself,” he laughed. “One thing I’m really confident about is being sincere. I want to take it one step at a time like I did as a player without being greedy, so I think I can be a good coach later on.”

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