“The kids are really good,” says Samiljung coach Kim Min-koo as he receives the award
Coach Kim Min-koo visited the Rookie Bae scene.
The 4th Rookie Bae Basketball Tournament with Westjin, hosted by basketball magazine Rookie, was held on the morning of the 19th at Dongincheon Girls’ Middle School Gymnasium in Seo-gu, Incheon. In the midst of fierce competition, 스포츠토토 KOREA 2 won the championship.
The tournament was organized and hosted by basketball magazine Rookie and the Incheon West Basketball Association, with title sponsor West Jean Bakery, a famous bakery in Goyang, as well as sponsors TwoNTBus, Stuff, Aim Sports, Molten, AGS, and Smashing Sports.
Special guests were present at the tournament. Coach Kim Min-koo, who played as an active professional basketball player for KCC-DB-Hyundai Mobis and is now a triple-team coach at his alma mater, served as the presenter and encouraged the youth players.
“Mr. Kang Geun-seok told me that he would like me to come to the youth tournament and give awards and encouragement. When I came, I saw that the kids were really good,” he said, explaining how he came to visit the Rookie Ship.
“I’m currently a coach at Samil Middle School. They are doing some winter training and preparing for the tournament in March,” he said.
Prior to coaching the elite basketball team at Samil Middle School, Kim served as a skills trainer. What’s the difference between being an elite coach and a skills trainer?
“There are a lot of differences,” says Kim. With skills, you only have to look at one player, but when you’re in charge of a team, you have to look at everyone, not just one person, so the combination is very important. I think it’s still difficult.”
The tournament featured many players with excellent physical condition and great basketball skills, despite being elementary school club basketball players. Some of them even dreamed of joining an elite basketball team.
Coach Kim said, “It’s amazing that there are so many tall players in elementary school, even if it’s not elite basketball. Their enthusiasm shows that the passion for basketball hasn’t died yet.”
When asked what his own elementary school days were like, he smiled and said, “I was very small (laughs), and I remember running around like I didn’t know what to do.”
Coach Kim expressed his hope that more tournaments would be held to make basketball more accessible to younger players.
“I want them to be exposed to basketball in a friendly way. I hope there will be more tournaments like this so that children can have more opportunities to experience basketball in a fun way. I am also gaining a lot of strength,” he encouraged the players.