※ This interview was conducted on March 22 and was published in the April 2023 issue of the Basket Korea webzine
. However,스포츠토토 the situation this season is somewhat different. Moon Jeong-hyeon, the ace, remains, but it is because the main players have left en masse. So Yangjun’s performance became more important. Yang Joon said, “Outside people say that we have become weak. However, our team is a team that can fully turn that situation around. To that end, everyone is doing their best. Our team’s goal, as always, is to win.” Can Korea University achieve the great feat of winning three consecutive college league titles, as Yang Joon said?
Yangjun, who started basketball later than others,
started playing basketball in the third year of middle school. However, Yangjun’s height was already 197cm when he was in the third year of middle school. That’s why even though his pitching power was short, he was able to be used in the team. Yang Joon, who recalled the time, said, “I first touched a basketball itself when I was in the third year of middle school. He originally went with his friends because his friends asked to join the club basketball team. He loved basketball from the very beginning. So he played club basketball for about a month and immediately chose the path of elite basketball.”
He continued, “I played basketball really briefly, but I loved basketball. I just liked basketball itself. He dribbles well, shoots well, rebounds well,” he said, explaining why he chose basketball.
“It was not an easy decision. People around me told me that it started too late. In particular, the middle school teacher at the time was against it. But I wanted to overturn that objection. It motivated me. So I think I worked harder,” he recalled the situation at the time.
“It was too hard”
I started playing elite basketball with enthusiasm, but the situation was not good. Unlike the club, elite basketball practiced every day of the week. Although he was tall, he lacked basic skills and lacked stamina. That’s why Yangjun focused more on basic skills and physical strength. “Actually, it was very difficult at the time. I ran mountains and did physical training every day. I ran until I actually threw up. But I never thought about quitting. Still, I enjoyed playing basketball,” he said looking back at the time.
“Then, I was given a chance from the first tournament. I was really tall back then, but nothing. I received many opportunities just because I was in the third year of middle school. When it was really important, other players played. And I was so nervous that I couldn’t do more than usual. I tried not to show nervousness, but my heart was beating so fast that it was difficult.”
After that, “But after working out for about a year, I got used to it now. It is completely different from the first time,” he added.
enter Jeonju High School
After graduating from Jeonju Nam Middle School, Yang Joon naturally went on to Jeon High School. However, his middle school basketball and high school basketball were different. Yang Jun said, “I went to high school when I was used to basketball in middle school. (Laughter) He couldn’t do it even in middle school, but high school was even more difficult. He couldn’t adapt and cried and cried and made a fuss.”
Afterwards, when asked what was difficult for Yangjun, he said, “High school was different from the smallest things. He said that the coach put more importance on basic skills such as boxing out and bottom-of-the-box shots. When you pointed out such a thing, my mentality collapsed.”
Nevertheless, Yangjun, who was over 200cm tall at the time, played as a starting pitcher from his freshman year. In response, Yang Jun said, “He wasn’t the main player from his first tournament, but he took on the role of the sixth man. At the time, his strength was pushed a lot, but he was confident in running, and the coach also emphasized mobility a lot,” he explained the role he played.
After winning the championship, when
Yang Joon was asked about his middle school life, he said, “In the first grade, there were older brothers who were good in the third grade. So he played with his older brothers and recorded good results. It was really fun. At that time, he won the championship for the first time, and also recorded runner-up in the category competition and the national sports event.”
“I was runner-up in middle school, but that was the first time I won. I was not good at basketball, so I thought, ‘Can I get such good grades?’ (Laughs) I couldn’t believe it.”
In addition, when asked about his performance at the time of winning the championship, he said, “I met Hongdae High School in the final. At that time, I went into the 3rd quarter, and a lot of balls came toward me unintentionally. So I scored under the goal through a pivot without thinking, and the atmosphere in the team went up. Even after that, the team atmosphere changed after doing it several times. It was a really valuable experience. Since then, my confidence has definitely risen.”
In high school, which was an opportunity for growth,
when Yang Jun was in the first year, Jeonju High School showed a strong appearance by winning prizes in every competition. However, as the 3rd graders graduated, the power of Jeonju High School weakened. Conversely, Yangjun was given more opportunities. In response, Yang Joon said, “I think I grew the most when I was in my second year of high school. The team performance was poor only in the first year. But personally, he was given a lot of opportunities. So I worked harder and tried to help the team.”
Then, “And in the third grade, I really enjoyed playing basketball. I think that was the most fun. However, there were not many matches due to Corona 19. It’s too bad. If there was at least one match, it would have been good,” he said with regret.
Yangjun went on to Korea
University After graduating from Jeonju High School, Yangjun went on to Korea University. When asked why, he said, “I thought a lot that I wanted to be like that too while watching the good hyungs. I thought it would be a good opportunity if I had at least a chance to play while sitting on the bench.”
There were also difficulties. Yang Jun said, “College basketball is adult basketball. It was completely different from high school. There are spectators and the team movement was more difficult. And I had to pay attention to even the smallest things. So I became more sensitive and I was very nervous. My hands were shaking a lot,” he said, looking back at his freshman year at university.
Yang Joon, who won the college league championship,
entered Korea University at the same time as the championship. However, Yang Jun did not receive many opportunities at the time. Yang Jun, who recalled that time, said, “I didn’t get many chances after his first game. And he watched a lot of games from the bench. It was the first such experience. But since he sat on the bench and watched, there were so many things I could feel and see. Although he had little on-court experience, he learned a lot off the field,” he said.
When Yang Joon was a sophomore, Korea University won the championship. However, this time, Yangjun did not receive many opportunities. Yang Jun, who looked back on his sophomore year, said, “Last year, I also got a chance. However, he did not give the director enough faith. He got his chance when his older brothers went in the draft,” he said.
Yang-jun, who should be the center of Korea University Korea
University showed off its best performance last year, but as the players went pro, they could not avoid a decline in power. That’s why Yangjun’s performance became more important.
When asked about winter training, Yang Joon said, “I paid a lot of attention to the post movement. He did a lot of one-on-one practice with coach Kim Tae-hong and other players. At the same time, he also practiced grabbing the rebound hard. Now I have to play a bigger role.”
“There are expectations, but the burden has also increased. I’m in 3rd grade, but I also have the mindset of ‘Can I show it to you?’ Now I have to play more games, but I was worried about whether I could do well,” he said honestly.
Also, “Outside people say we are weak. But our team thinks it can turn that situation around. Everyone is doing their best to do that. And our team’s goal, as always, is to win.”