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

“Playing the second act with integrity!”

A knee injury shattered the stereotype that he wouldn’t have a long career. Kim Young-hwan, 39, has been recognized as an icon of integrity in professional basketball for 16 years thanks to his thorough physical care. He is now known as “Coach Kim Young-hwan KT”. When he got the opportunity he had dreamed of for so long, 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 and averaged 8.9 points in 665 games over 16 seasons. There was some disappointment when he was drafted. When he entered the pro ranks after playing at Korea University, the evaluation changed. While Yang Hee-jong was the second overall pick, Kim fell to eighth. This was due to a knee injury.

“My knee has been bad since I was in middle school,” says Kim, “but I wasn’t in the mood to talk about it back then. 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 had surgery in college, but the results were not good. I played through my first year as a pro, but when I was preparing for my second season, my knee was in really bad shape. I had to have surgery.”

He also received some shocking news during his diagnosis. “I went to a lot of hospitals that I thought were good in Korea. 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 they told me that even if I wasn’t 100%, I could recover to 80-90% with hard work. It gave me hope,” he explains.

Kim’s knee injury, which he has been dealing with 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 regimen during his military career. 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 getting better 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 end her career. He played for 16 years. “I have a competitive spirit,” Kim said. When I hear bad things around me, I think, ‘I’ll show you. Rather than being swayed by negative evaluations, I was stimulated and made a lot of efforts,” he laughed.

One word that helped me 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. Kim said, “There was a change in the team. The club offered me the job 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 another year,” he said, “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 thinking about being 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 realized that she was saying it for me. She 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 gets started 메이저놀이터

Kim has been a longtime captain since his playing days, and his leadership skills are already well established. Although he is a novice coach, he is confident in leading the juniors. “As a captain, I learned a lot about how to lead a team. If I make the first move, the younger players will follow. 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 threw away the thoughts I had before,” said Kim. I will start my coaching career with the mindset of starting from scratch. Until a few years ago, I had a certain type 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 I watch a lot of different basketball videos. I think if I watch a lot of different things, I’ll have an idea of what kind of basketball I want to play later.” “Right now, I’m learning the basics, like how to look at player data and analyze foreign players’ videos,” he added.

His biggest weapon as a coach is also his sincerity. 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. My wife told me, ‘Sincerity is the biggest talent. She told me that the fact that I was able to play for so many years without having many natural talents is a talent,” he laughs. He continued, “I’m very confident in my sincerity. I want to take it one step at a time like I did as a player without being greedy, and I think I can become a good coach later on.”

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