Watch out for Lee, Chung-Ang University’s Kang Hyun Lee

Men’s and women’s professional basketball is in the offseason. During this time, amateur teams are in full swing. In the meantime, the spotlight is on college players who are trying to make it to the pros. We’ll introduce you to some of the players who stand out on the college scene. In this article, we will introduce you to Lee Kang-hyun, who is at the center of Chung-Ang University’s hype.
*This article was published in the June issue of Jump Ball, a specialized basketball magazine, and the interview was conducted in mid-May.

Your first relationship with basketball
In middle school, I was interested in basketball because of my height, but I didn’t know how to start playing professionally. I happened to visit a sports center that was run by the mother of an elite athlete. I was lucky enough to be introduced to her and started playing basketball in junior high school in the first grade. At first, my skills were lagging behind. I was so passionate about the sport that I practiced nonstop. I would bounce the ball when other players were taking a break, and I tried to make up for it by working out in the morning before class.

Developing my shooting skills in high school
He started playing in his second year of middle school and gained experience. Even after I went to Whimungo, I was lucky to play a lot because Lee Doo-won and Lee Dae-gyun couldn’t play due to disciplinary reasons. The coach believed in me a lot, and through hard work, I was able to play as a mainstay and win a championship.
In middle school, I played basketball only with my physical ability and height, but it was different when I went to high school. I realized that I couldn’t just play simple, I had to develop my strength and shooting ability. I was selected for the U-16 national team, and when I started training and playing with other players, I realized that they knew how to play basketball. I didn’t want to play the same way I did in middle school, so I started lifting weights, taking care of myself, and practicing my shooting a lot to give myself an advantage.
In middle school, I was more of a perimeter player, but in high school, I went to the midrange. I tried to change. I believe that you should be able to shoot from any position, so I kept practicing whenever I had time. I touched the ball a lot because I thought I needed to throw it a lot to get a feel for it. Even when I went home, I’d lie down and throw shots, and I’d go to the gym and throw shots and try to get them in. That’s how I practiced as a kid, so I can use my shooting ability as one of my strengths and as a weapon in college.

Left Hand Training
When I was in middle school, my coach (Cha Dong-il) trained me a lot on my left hand. I didn’t know what to do, so I did what he told me to do and practiced shooting with both my left and right hands, and that helped me. It’s not as good as my right hand, but it’s not like I can’t use my left hand at all.

3.6 to 9.7, improved rebounding
Last year, when I was a sophomore, I was in the lower grades, and Jung Sung-hoon, Park In-woong, and Moon Ga-on jumped in and grabbed rebounds. When I boxed out, I would give up the rebound to my older brothers. It became a habit in the third grade. My coach (Yang Hyung-seok) told me, ‘Don’t give up, actively grab the rebound,’ and that’s when I realized that I’m a senior, not an underclassman, and I’m a big man, so I’ve been taking care of the rebound, and I think I’ve improved a lot.

Standout scorer
Last year, I didn’t play as a starter because I had older brothers who were stronger offensively, but I was confident in my ability to score. I didn’t get a lot of playing time, so I prepared on the bench. Because I was confident, I scored every time I entered the court, so my efficiency was good. This year, I scored better because I had a bigger role compared to last year. Last year, the four seniors played a lot, so the rest of the team played less. However, they are not incapable of playing, and many people thought that after the seniors graduated, the strength of the team would decrease. They are capable of playing, and the players of all grades talked about how we need to play as a team. For me personally (as a sophomore), I used to step in and attack when my brothers were doing well, but now that I’m a senior, I’m playing to my strengths and taking responsibility for shooting, playing in the post, and doing things that are hard for them to stop, so I think it’s paying off.

Strengthening training for college players in 2022
We picked 12 guys from college and trained them to play against their professional brothers. That was really big. You can learn a lot just by training at school, but there’s a big difference when you go somewhere else and play against other older brothers and get guidance from a different coach (national coach Cho Sang-hyun). Getting to know the players and learning from each other gave me confidence, and what I lacked there, I could make up for when I got back to school. (My freshman year) was a time when I didn’t play a lot and was struggling with injuries, so I was grateful to be selected for that position. It was a good opportunity for me to find my confidence and reflect on myself.

Korea-Japan University Selection Basketball Tournament
When I heard about the tournament, I personally wanted to make the team. I know how valuable this experience is. I was lucky enough to be selected and played with my brothers. I have great brothers, but I knew that if we were behind, we wouldn’t win the game. Yang Jun, Lee Kyu-tae, and I were the back line, and I talked to them a lot. Unlike my role at school, there are a lot of players who can do everything, so I did the dirty work, rebounded hard, played as a team, and got good results.

Japan in action
Their individual skills were good. I thought it was only the guards, but the more I played, the more I realized that the big men also shot well from outside, had good dribbling ability, and were fast. Their strength was also good. Personally, it was different from playing against Korean players. I struggled with it. It was different when I faced him directly. I realized that centers need to have excellent individual skills.

What he wants to improve in college
When I listen to my brothers’ stories, I hear that weight is the biggest difference between them. So I aim to improve my weight. I’ve been wanting to expand my range of activities since middle school. In the pros, you have to be a three-point shooter, so I want to practice and improve little by little to challenge the pros. I’m not confident in my shooting ability, so I can always shoot three-pointers from the outside. I want to improve my defense. I’m confident in my perimeter defense, but my 3 (small forward) defense is a bit lacking. In the game against Japan, I felt that I struggled on defense when the big man was dribbling. There are players like that in the pros, so I think we need to work on it. I think the first thing is to improve our perimeter defense.먹튀검증

Coach Yang Hyung-seok on Lee Kang-hyun
He is a very sincere player. He has a very good mid-range shot for his height and position. He doesn’t have a very good weight, but he doesn’t get pushed around. His post-up has improved a lot. As a senior, he took on more responsibility at the position and improved his scoring. His movement on defense is a little weak, and it would be better if he could defend the perimeter.

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