In the end, the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games ended with a ‘no medal’, but Kang Yang-hyun played a ‘one-man show’ in the 3-on-3 basketball team’s journey.
Despite the one-point defeat and the fact that the team left without a medal, Kang said his love for his players remained unchanged regardless of the outcome.
Kang’s team finished in fourth place after losing 20-21 to Mongolia in the bronze medal match at the Duching Basketball Court in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, on Monday afternoon.
Speaking at the joint press area after the game, Kang said, “I was worried about the dishwashing. I used a plastic bag to clean up the dishes, the way they do in restaurants, so it was less heavy,” he said, adding, “I did everything from preparing (the meals) to cleaning them up so that they wouldn’t be uncomfortable.”
Signe Jin (24-Hyundai Mobis), Lee Won-seok (Samsung), Lee Doo-won (KT-Isang 23) and Kim Dong-hyun (21-KCC) are all young players in their early 20s who travelled to the Hangzhou Asian Games with Kang.
In addition to tactical coaching, Kang has been providing psychological counselling and acting as a ‘manager’ to the team.
“What I do is actually what all elementary, middle, and high school coaches do now,” Kang said, “and I’ve been doing it that way, so it’s not particularly difficult.”
Kang is best known for leading Busan Central High School through a difficult time 11 years ago.
His story of motivating his players to continue playing basketball in the face of a shortage of players was adapted into the film “Rebound” by director Jang Hang-jun.
In 2012, Kang’s team competed in the national high school basketball tournament with only six players, and after one player was injured, the team played until the final without a single substitution. In the final, they lost to the strongest team of the time, Yongsan High School.
Kang, a “motivational” coach, had nothing to do with the championship this time around, and they didn’t even make the final.
They lost 17-18 in overtime in the quarter-finals against Chinese Taipei, which was considered their biggest challenge.
“The Korean Basketball Association supported us well,” Kang said. It’s a shame because we had a chance to improve our performance and increase support for 3-on-3 basketball.” “The players fought hard and did a good job. They just lacked experience.”
Players in professional basketball are unfamiliar with 3-on-3 basketball.
This weakness was highlighted in overtime against Chinese Taipei.
In 3-on-3 basketball, the first team to score two points in overtime wins the game.
With the score 17-16, Kim Dong-hyun had a chance to shoot two points (three points in 5-on-5 basketball). Only one point was needed to win the game. His opponent was in team foul trouble, so he only needed a foul to win.
However, Kim took an outside shot, and the ball missed the rim. The two points immediately followed and the team’s hopes of reaching the final were dashed.
“That scene showed the players’ lack of experience in 3-on-3 basketball,” said Kang, “and our players have only been practising for about a month. They are competitive enough, and if they prepare in advance, they will be able to achieve results,” he said.
“If we had a little more experience in 3-on-3 basketball, we wouldn’t have had a game like today,” he said, emphasising that 3-on-3 basketball is a specialised area.
Kang said he had no regrets about selecting the players who played together.
“As you can see, if Yeo Jun-seok (Gonzaga University) and Lee Hyun-jung (Illawarra) had come, we would have won gold. But that’s all in the past,” he encouraged, “I want to praise the players for their hard work, and I think it was a very good selection.”
He also expressed his desire for more prospects to experience 3-on-3 basketball.
“Basketball is a free sport. Basketball is free, and in terms of music, it’s hip-hop, but it’s not like that in Korea.” “There are some conservative parts like ballads. However, 3-on-3 basketball is based on intense physical combat, and you can hone your skills.” 스포츠토토