‘Late, but running straight’ Yonsei University Kim Geon-woo “I am building happy memories at Yonsei University”

This article was published in the March 2023 issue of Basket Korea webzine. The interview for this article was conducted on February 2, 2023 at 1:00 pm ( Link to Buy Basket Korea Webzine ).

Kim Gun-woo loved basketball from an early age. He played basketball as a hobby in clubs and 3X3 competitions.
However, the start of basketball player Kim Kun-woo was much later than others. When he was in his second year of high school, he was scouted by Dong-A High School. Even if he started in middle school, he was evaluated as ‘short pitched’, so starting from high school required two to three times the effort.
Nonetheless, Kim Gun-woo quickly adapted. He drew attention by recording 28 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists against Min-seok Cha (Samsung, Seoul) in the category championships he played in his senior year of high school.
Kim Kun-woo, who entered Yonsei University, suffered from frequent injuries. The bad news of Corona 19 also overlapped. He is about to graduate without being given many opportunities. However, he revealed, “I want to focus on Yonsei University rather than his personal greed.” He is ready to lead Yonsei University as the oldest, along with Yonsei University’s captain Yugi-Sang.먹튀검증

Please introduce yourself first.
This is Kim Geon-woo, Yonsei University’s 4th year center.

I heard he left the US field training.
He is conducting winter battery training in the United States. He systematically combines skill training and weight programs. He is preparing for the 2023 season in a good environment. Also, new students joined. This is the stage of matching. 

How did you start playing basketball?
I grew taller from a young age. I was exposed to several sports. Among them, my favorite sport was basketball.
But until middle school, I only played basketball in clubs. I started playing elite basketball only after high school. The coach at Dong-A High School offered me a scout, and I thought he needed me. So I went to Dong-A High School, where I learned 5v5 basketball for the first time. I used to play mostly 3v3 basketball.

You started very late. Why did you choose basketball?
I didn’t want to study. (Laughs) Also, since I was little, I liked basketball a lot. After receiving the scouting offer, I thought a lot about wanting to do it vaguely.

Were you a famous player in your amateur days?
It wasn’t like that (laughs). However, after entering Yonsei University, I won a lot of championships, and along with my seniors, I made good use of Yonsei University’s unique color. I made a lot of good memories.

Even with a late start, he performed well right away. It also received a lot of attention.
As soon as I entered Dong-A High School, I went straight to the practice game. The burden was light. When I was in my third year of high school, I worked hard with the mindset of ‘I have to do it’ and jumped one step further. To be honest, I don’t remember exactly when I was in high school.

How was your life at Yonsei University?
The exercise program and body management were systematic. Living in a dorm created a close, family-like atmosphere between seniors and juniors. I liked that atmosphere. Also, since they were college students, they were in good shape and their speed was definitely different. While playing, I felt a big difference (from high school).

I changed my name before entering university.
I’ve been hurt a lot since high school. There were many days when I couldn’t digest the exercise. I’ve heard that changing one’s name is also a way to deal with injuries. Parents also encouraged me. I wanted to lean even a little on the name change.

Was the 2022 season satisfactory?
It was a disappointing year. Sex was also disappointing. Of course, the players worked hard and achieved a lot. But personally, as a senior, I couldn’t help the team. That’s why it’s more sad, and it’s more in my heart.
And he’s had a knee injury all year. If I overdo it even a little while rehabilitating, the inflammation relapsed. It was a serious injury. So the break time got longer.

Have you recovered?
He is constantly rehabilitating with a trainer at Yonsei University. I am also doing weight control. Since the injured part is my knee, I try to relieve the burden even a little.

When 2023 ends, you also participate in the rookie draft. He must have a desire to show off.
I don’t think you have to show everything you have. I feel more strongly that Yonsei University should do well. It’s more important for the team to do well than for me to do well. It was the same with seniors. I thought of helping the team first.
I also want to help the team. I was very sorry that I couldn’t help you last year. Now that I’m in my senior year, I want to feel responsible and help the team on and off the court. I want to finish the remaining year well with the captain (Yu) Ki-sang.

In what role would you like to contribute to the team?
I want to make no mistakes in defense rather than offense. You have to play basketball based on the basics. I want to raise the mood both on and off the court. So maybe we can help the team?

What do you think you are confident about and what do you need to improve on?
I am confident in defense and rebounding. What I need to improve on is confidence and mentality. To be honest, I was mentally weak since I was young. So I try to communicate often with my colleagues. I’m trying to boost the morale of the team and boost my confidence at the same time. 

I think my mindset will be different as I enter the 4th grade.
It hasn’t been long since Ki Ki-gi became the captain, but he’s leading the team really well. Ki-ki is leading on the court, so I have to help him outside of basketball. When Sang-sik misses something or has a hard time, I have to help him and try. That’s how I’m in sync with weather.

Do you have any players you consider a role model?
I didn’t have it in high school. However, when I entered Yonsei University, (Han) Seung-hee hyung (currently Anyang KGC Ginseng Corporation), a senior, and (Shin) Seung-min hyung (current Daegu Korea Gas Corporation), a junior year, were my role models. I tried to imitate the two older brothers exercising. Looking back, imitating my older brothers helped me a lot. In terms of basketball, I want to emulate Seunghee-hyung’s BQ and Seungmin-hyung’s versatility.

Is there anything better than Han Seung-hee and Shin Seung-min?
Still, I am confident in my athletic abilities. In particular, wouldn’t the jumping power be a little better? I’ve never told the hyungs, but Seungmin hyung probably knows (laughs).

What is basketball to Kim Gun-woo?
It’s my favorite sport. It’s like a ‘source of happiness’. In particular, after entering Yonsei University, I have built happy memories with my seniors and juniors. Among them, I was really happy when I was on a winning streak in 1st and 2nd grade. The time I spent with my seniors and juniors was all fun and happy. We will continue to build memories like that for another year.

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