This article was published in the June 2023 issue of Basket Korea Webzine. The interview for this article was conducted on May 15, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. (Link to purchase Basket Korea Webzine)
After playing baseball, Lee joined the KCC youth basketball club in the fourth grade after being recommended by his father’s coworker. He never picked up a basketball in his life, but he quickly developed his skills with a strong competitive spirit.
His height made him a force to be reckoned with under the basket. She was able to defend her teammates and score well under the basket.
Lee is planning to study in the United States. So the 2023 KBL Youth Club Basketball Tournament, scheduled for July, may be his last. She hopes to reap the rewards of the tournament with her teammates, who have been playing together since the fourth grade.
Can you start by introducing yourself?바카라사이트
My name is Lee Han-yu, and I play for the KCC Youth Club. I play power forward and am 185 centimeters tall.
How have you been doing lately?
I’m preparing to study abroad in the United States, and I’ve been training for two hours every Sunday evening at the KCC Youth Club. I also practice every day at a basketball court in the neighborhood.
I haven’t had many competitions lately, so I’ve just been practicing. However, the biggest competition, the KBL Youth Club Basketball Tournament, is coming up in July, and I’m working hard to do well in that tournament.
If I go to study abroad, it might be my last KBL tournament, so I have a different mindset.
In the KBL youth club tournament, I always faced strong teams, so I didn’t make it to the quarterfinals. But this could be my last tournament with KCC, and I really want to make it to the quarterfinals.
How did you start playing basketball?
Before I started playing basketball, I played baseball. When I stopped playing baseball, I looked for another sport that would challenge me, and then I chose basketball. My dad’s coworker introduced me to the KCC youth team, and I was in the fourth grade.
Basketball was really hard at first because I was tall, but I had never touched a basketball before. I couldn’t even dribble properly at first, so I had to learn the basics one by one.
But like anything, you have to practice until you get it right, and then it becomes second nature, so the skills I was learning and practicing came naturally in practice.
How do you remember your first competition?
I was in the fifth grade when I competed in my first tournament. We lost to Samsung and SK, but we still won one game. (Laughs)
My most memorable game was the last game of the group stage of the same tournament. We met DB, and we won in a dramatic way at the end of the game. I had a steal, and my teammate took my pass and made a layup. It was a really happy memory.
What is Lee’s playing style like?
I focus more on defense than offense. On offense, I set screens for my teammates and create space through active movement. If I need to score, I usually use post-ups.
What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses?
I was a captain in elementary school, so I’m good at leading my teammates. I’m also a good scorer, so my strength is shooting from the perimeter.
My coach tells me to be confident, but my success rate is low. I’m embarrassed to say it, because if I take three shots, one goes in. (laughs)
Did you do well in 2022?
We didn’t compete in any big tournaments like the KBL Youth Club Basketball Tournament, but we mostly competed in city tournaments. We were runners-up in the KYBL tournament and won the Pyeongtaek Mayor’s Cup. It was a satisfying season because I played with my teammates for more than four years, so our teamwork improved a lot.
How are you preparing for 2023?
Not only me, but one of my teammates is also going to study abroad around the same time, so the KBL Youth Club Basketball Tournament might be the last time we’ll play together. In training, I’m encouraging my friends and saying, “It’s the last time, so let’s do our best.” Luckily, we got a good group, and I’m looking forward to doing well.
Our offense is weak, so we’ve been working on our defense, and we’ve also started working on our fitness to be stronger.
Which players are your role models?
Yannis Atetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) is my role model. He has a great muscular body, and he scores no matter what kind of defense he gets under the basket, so that’s what I want to emulate. We have a similar style of play. I tried to copy the Chukchi (?) Euro step, but I got called for traveling, which was a little unfair, because it was like 0.5 Atetokounmpo.
What does basketball mean to you?
I play basketball every Sunday night. It’s how I end the week. If you’re studying every day, it’s not fun, and basketball is the only thing that makes life fun. If I didn’t have basketball, I might not survive. I also like to play musical instruments, but basketball is pretty much all I do in my free time.
Will you continue to play basketball in the US?
I’m going to Boston to study abroad, so of course I’m going to play basketball. I’m not going to stop playing basketball in the U.S. It’s going to be harder than it is now because of the physicality of the American players, but if I meet a strong opponent, I can improve my game. I’ll be grateful for that.
What are your goals for the future?
I want to win the KBL youth club tournament. I want to be selected to play for the U.S. school team and become a captain. I will continue to play basketball as an adult.