“There was a field that I was definitely good at, but I think I lacked the will to make use of it properly. At the time, I thought it was the best, but as time passed and I looked back a few steps away, I felt regret. Regardless of the difference in impact and career, I think everyone who played basketball would feel the same way.”메이저놀이터
Jeong Seon-gyu (43‧178cm), a coach at Yongsan High School, has lived a basketball life like weeds, unlike his rather fragile appearance. He did not have strengths in motor nerves and mobility, as well as basic physical conditions such as short stature, weak physical strength, and thin hardware, as well as lack of competitiveness. However, it was not that his technique was outstanding, or that his passing ability or vision had advantages.
In a way, it is full of regrets, but surprisingly, he survived on the professional stage for 12 seasons (including Sangmu). Considering the fact that even players with much better conditions do not last for several seasons, he wondered, ‘How did he survive?’ It’s amazing. It reminds me of a line from an action movie, “It’s not the strong who survive, it’s who who survives is strong.”
“I don’t think it’s particularly great or special. In reality, I was just a sixth man fighting for survival every season. I think I was able to continue my professional life for a longer period of time than I had by emptying my mind and being faithful from moment to moment. The so-called star players have expectations from those around them, and there is also a part about the career they take themselves. I didn’t have any of that. I couldn’t have it either. I just tried to do what I could, thinking that this play might be the last time.”
However, Jeong Seon-gyu is not a player who had nothing. If he really did, he wouldn’t have survived even a season in the pros. Jeong Seon-kyu had a very special weapon, and he was none other than the ‘three-point shot’. He may be less known because he did not play as a professional shooter, but he had an excellent shooting sense that rivaled anyone else.
In particular, his 3-point shot near the top was so accurate that it gave the feeling of ‘going in if you shoot’. He was unable to play throughout the game, but even when he was suddenly put in for a short time, he immediately caught the shot and threw his first shot without difficulty. In a way, it can be said that this one survived. so it’s more pity His basketball life might have been completely different if only one or two of the countless disadvantages mentioned above had been added as strengths.
“I have regrets, but I have no regrets. It’s not going to change anyway. But he won’t forget. To be honest, if he hadn’t done basketball, I think he would have just robbed and not cared about it. But I’m a basketball coach now. I believe that in order to teach children, it is necessary to trace and recount even the little things that have happened in the past. There are many times when a leader needs to help not only technically but also mentally. I hope that all the children I work with become better players than I am. I really want to make it like that.”
◆ Jeong Seon-kyu’s regular league record ☞ Total average of 3.83 points (39.7% 3-point shooting success rate), 0.85 rebounds, 0.86 assists, 0.49 steals in 296 games played
⁕ Most records in a regular league game: Scores ☞ 26 November 2006 against Changwon LG = 29 points / successful 3-point shot ☞ 4 March 2011 against Dongbu Wonju = 6 / assists ☞ 23 March 2008 against Jeonju KCC = 5 / Rebound ☞ Wonju Dongbu match on December 28, 2007 = 5 / Steal ☞ Changwon LG match on October 19, 2007 = 5
Q. How are you these days?
Well, all athletic coaches are probably the same. There is nothing special about my daily life other than teaching the children while assisting teacher Lee Se-bum. I only go back and forth between school and home. It is a prestigious school with a lot of tradition, and the children are working hard and getting good grades. I recently won the federation president term. After winning the Seoul National Sports Festival preliminaries, I plan to go to the sports event as a representative of Seoul.
Q. Leaders also have their own color. What style would you consider yourself?
Not yet… , I think I’m not finished enough to distinguish those colors clearly. I am teaching students, but I am also in a position to learn together. I am still inexperienced and have a lot to learn. Fortunately, it was like that during my time at Korea University, and I am still learning and growing with good people. As a matter of heart, I want to learn by absorbing only the strengths of the appendix, dekjang, and gijang, but it must be greedy, right?
Q. Unlike your delicate appearance, your voice is thick. Haven’t you heard that you have a similar voice to Day One CEO Heo Jae?
is that so? I haven’t gotten into it yet. I’ve sometimes heard that things just don’t match what they look like. After listening to the words, it seems that there is a voice like CEO Heo Jae. (Kang) Byeong-hyun too… , a bit thick but resounding like a cave voice? People say that what you hear and what others hear is different. I’ll have to record it and listen to it when I have time. It would have been better if he had a similar voice and was good at basketball like Heo Jae’s national team during his active career. Or even the same size as Byunghyun… , (laugh)
Q. I heard you have twin brothers.
ah… , Everyone knew them as twins. They are also recorded as twins on the Internet. It is true that they have brothers, but they are not twins. They are younger siblings. I’m your brother. We used to play basketball together, but my older brother stopped playing basketball when he was in college. Even now, there are people who are curious about it from time to time, but it’s not a problem that needs to be actively addressed.
“The reason why my nickname was a fox… ”
Q. I heard that she got into basketball through a special activity in elementary school.
In a situation where I was literally just getting a taste while playing basketball once a week during the 4th grade extracurricular activities in elementary school, Gyu-don Han, who is now a retired referee, founded the basketball team at the time. That’s when I started in earnest. At first, my mother was against it. I only did it once a week, but he didn’t like it because he came in late every day. He went directly to the school and told me he was quitting. I wasn’t desperate because I was young, but it was a bit regrettable. In the meantime, the teacher came to the house and actively tried to convince me, and my parents were eventually persuaded (laughs). And later, my father actively supported me. At the time, there were no basketball hoops in the school’s outdoor playground. Then, with the formation of a basketball club, a goalpost was installed… , I think I just had fun while doing it.
Q. Was your position a guard from the start?
Yes. Since I was young, I did not receive merit in height and exercised. But until elementary school, I was average, not big but not small. But when I went to middle school, the difference widened. The older I get, the harder it is to find a player smaller than me.
Q. If you look at the people who exercised, there was a nickname that they were called in school days.
Yes. It’s a time when friends call each other by nicknames rather than names. In my case, teachers and seniors called me ‘fox’ a lot.
Q.A fox? Is it because the face is like a fox?
hahahaha… , Am I a fox? Anyway, it’s not called a fox because of how it looks. What can I say? I was called a fox because I knew basketball. It is difficult for a small and weak player like me to stand out among his peers in many ways. He was confident at one shot, and you must have seen that he was good at other plays as well. In a way, that was the best compliment. I should have continued to be a fox even when I was in college and in the pros… , I am also sorry.
“Even thinking about it now, I am amazed at how he survived
That’s right. I’m 180cm on my profile, but that’s just my height. If you take off your shoes, it’s slightly lower than that. Anyway, to play a different position at that height, I would have to be ridiculously athletic or strong enough to push a player much taller than me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the physical ability to do that, so I had to take on the role of point guard whether I liked it or not. Still, I was able to do it until high school. But when I went to university, it was difficult in many ways. First of all, since I’m not in a strong body, I had a bit of trouble in physical fights even against players in the same position who didn’t have a big size difference.
Q. But technically, it wasn’t to the extent of stripping the players off.
you’re right. If you’ve already been to college with basketball and are in the first position, everyone’s perfection is no joke. All of them were players who had been ranked several times among their peers until high school, so there was no player to be taken lightly. Far from peeling off with technology, there were not a few cases
where I was stripped.
This thing keeps hitting my bones. You’re not interviewing me to criticize me, are you? (Laughter) That’s right. To be honest, there were few guards with lesser speed or athletic ability than me. I’m going to open up about this and go into self-destruct mode. It’s a fact that fans know well. you’re right. It was really difficult to match up with No. 1, who has a good name no matter what. My skill is outside shooting, but I couldn’t shoot as much as I wanted because I wasn’t ahead in other areas. I was confident compared to any other player when it came to just standing and shooting, but at the college and pro level, countless movements have to be performed in parallel to get that one chance. You have to find an empty space and throw a quick shot, fake it, use a screen, or else risk a collision and throw it solidly. to be honest… , nothing was easy. Recently, a video about what kind of movement Stephen Curry takes to throw a 3-point shot has been a hot topic in the community. that’s right. Even a player like Curry has to work that hard to get that shot.
Q. You speak very modestly, but you were still selected in the 9th place in the first round. Wasn’t it nominated because it judged that there was still a lot of potential for growth despite so many weaknesses?
To be honest, I was also surprised to see the ranking. I thought it was fortunate that I was just picked, but I was still nominated in the first round. At the time, I remember leaving the rankings and coming out with a sigh of relief. Up until high school, I think it was a time when I did a lot of sports and improved my skills noticeably. But when I got to college, I literally just stagnated. It’s mostly because I didn’t adapt properly. As is well known, the amount of training at Korea University is no joke. In addition to that, due to various circumstances, it can be said that I was unable to exercise much during college. In the midst of that, I think it was really fortunate that I was nominated as a pro.
Q. How was it after coming to pro?
I didn’t get a chance until the 1st or 2nd year. After college, when I had to grow in full swing, my skills stopped. Of course, I have no intention of blaming anyone. If I had done really well, I would have played as a starting pitcher from the first season like (Kim) Joo-seong, who was drafted in the same year, and flew wildly. As I went to Sangmu, I had more opportunities to go out on the court, and I think that was the period when my performance improved a lot. I participated in the 2005 East Asian Men’s Basketball Championship held in Guangdong Province, China with my classmates and won the championship with 5 wins. Thanks to that, I was able to participate in the World Military Basketball Championship held in Russia. In the final of the men’s general division of the National Sports Festival, he defeated Chung-Ang University and won the championship. I also remember the 2005 basketball team finals vividly. I played with my alma mater, Korea University, and my condition was very good that day. It felt so good to have contributed to the championship by scoring 27 points, including five 3-pointers. After being discharged from the army, I was traded to Etland, and although I am a sixth man, I was given some opportunities at that time. Even then, it was a difficult time with various things, but once I played a lot of games, I felt much better mentally. I worked really hard, but now when I think about it, I feel a little regretful that I should have done it more desperately.
Q. Which one was more difficult, attacking or defending?
Both of them were bad people (laughs) I don’t know what it means, but personally, the defense was more difficult. I’m not good at speed. However, most of the starting players or key No. 1 resources in each team are fast. It’s no exaggeration to say that they are the fastest players on the team. It wasn’t easy to just follow along. Being fast is a huge advantage. Mobility is not important at any position, but it is especially true for point guards. Since it is a position where you play while using the widest court, players who are not fast have no choice but to go through more difficulties. If you wander like that in defense, your body and mind will be shaken, so there are many times when you don’t get good results in offense. First of all, regrettable scenes circle around in my head and won’t leave. It’s not for nothing that a good defense means a good offense.
“The long term was a 3-point shot, but it was quite difficult to use
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed at first. I thought she was doing her part, but she was traded. The team’s performance was also better at E-Land at the time. It wasn’t the main, but I wanted to adapt to E-Land, but I wasn’t happy to go to another team. However, I thought it must have been traded because I needed it, so I quickly changed my mind and tried to adapt well at KCC. At the time, coach Heo Jae knew that I had a strong shooting ability and believed in me a lot. He also encouraged me to shoot with confidence. So, I mainly participated in situations where the offense did not work well. Rather than a special role, one or two outside shots, that’s what he wanted. When the offense is at a standstill, there are times when it’s really amazing that you can’t score. At that time, there are times when a single outside shot goes in, and the blood that used to be bloody is clear and pierced. You’re a director who made the most of each individual’s strengths.
Is it against Q.SK? Shortly before the end of the game, Moon Kyung-eun made a 3-point shot and the loss became darker, but was there a time when he countered with a buzzer-beater 3-point shot and won dramatically?
ah… , that’s probably the last buzzer beater was (Lim) Jaehyun hyung. I made a 3-point shot at first, and it seemed like it was going to be the final score. However, after the operation time, senior Mungyeong-Eun immediately responded with a 3-point shot, and the SK bench was in an uproar. I remember having very little time left. But, like a miracle, Jaehyun hit another 3-pointer and ended the game. In such a short period of time that I wondered how that could happen, buzzer-beater 3-pointers kept popping up. It was to the point that even the blunt director Heo burst into laughter as if he was dumbfounded.
Q. At least one 3-point shot was comparable to professional shooters. Have you practiced shooting separately since you were in school?
Not really. I don’t know because I haven’t been through other schools, but as of now, Yongsan Middle and High School is famous for its large amount of practice. We did team training from early in the morning until late at night. It’s not that I didn’t practice individually, but I took some time off to practice, and there was little time for that. I just wish I had better shooting skills compared to other skills.
Q. I remember Cho Seong-won as a player who was short, but was really good at one 3-point shot.
When I was a rookie, I shared a room with (Cho) Seongwon hyung. So I know very well how hard-working his brother is. In the case of my older brother, he did a lot of weight training in college to overcome his physical weakness. When he came pro, he was able to maintain his body with a little training. Because he worked so hard, he was a senior who made me feel that he became a player of that level. He had a lot to learn on and off the court, but unfortunately he couldn’t absorb it all from the side.
He was very talented with the Q. 3-point shot, but it was a difficult environment for him to fully use his strengths.
Yes. Rather than saying it was the environment, there were parts where I was ambiguous as a player. In the case of (Cho) Seong-won, regardless of his physical condition, he is very fast and has good athletic ability, so he can play the role of a native ace in any team, so it must be an exception. In the case of (former) Jeong-gyu, like me, there was nothing special about his ability other than the 3-point shot, but he had his own height and was good in size. In the circumstances at the time, there was not much lack to take on number 2. Because of this, he was able to run to the corner on offense and find an empty spot and assume the shooter role through ball-free movement. In my case, he had no choice but to serve as a backup point guard because he had neither the physique of a regular player nor the athletic ability of Sung-Won Lee. Even if I couldn’t lead fluently, I had to carry the ball. It’s a position where I have to wait for my teammates’ chances, not waiting for a shot chance. Then, when there was really no place to pass or when the opportunity came to me, I threw a 3-point shot. So there were a lot of times when I mainly shot from the top.
Q. As soon as I retired, I worked as a power analyst and coach at KCC, as well as coaching at Korea University and Yongsan High School. Compared to his career, his work has never stopped, so some fans said, ‘He’s a gold spoon in networking’ and ‘Isn’t he good at politics?’
Ha ha ha… , I have nothing to do with that. I’m not a famous player, but I’m just friendly and I don’t have that tendency. I just struggled to survive and play a small role. I guess I was a little bit lucky. Around the time he retired, he went to Director Heo and told him he wanted to be a power analyst. It was a time when there were no power analysts on the team at the time. It was a time when I had a lot of worries about the future, but thinking about other paths besides basketball was at a loss. Fortunately, the coach and the club gave me a chance, and I was able to get off to a good start. Then, when (Chu) Seung-gyun became the coach, he asked me to try it together, so I was given a coaching opportunity.
Q. Who is the most memorable foreign player you worked with in the pro?
During E-Land days, Terrence Shannon impressed me. He’s really athletic and resilient. He is a team like Jira that stood out among foreign players, but it was not the first time or two that I admired him. Andre Emmet when I was coaching at KCC. In the case of Emmett, there were many likes and dislikes among fans. He was good, but there were times when he monopolized the ball for too long… , If this works out, it’s just a solution, but basketball doesn’t always have good results. If that happens, there is no choice but to be criticized for playing basketball alone. Personally, I’d like to go beyond Emmett’s passion for training. He was the most trained foreign player I’ve ever seen. I was the first to come out and train, and after the game, I also trained late. He was a friend who practiced shooting while sweating until he was satisfied.
Q. Thank you so much for today’s interview. Lastly, what does ‘basketball’ mean to Jeong Seon-gyu?
He is the one who always helps me learn. Because of basketball, I was able to ignite my passion, and I experienced both happy and regrettable moments. I played a lot of supporting roles rather than leading roles, and I’m used to playing supporting rather than main roles, but I think that process has been nourishing and an opportunity for me to mature even a little bit. As much as what I am doing now is a coach, I want to make good use of this and that experience to give my children the know-how and mentality to run well on gravel roads.