This article was published in the March 2023 issue of Basket Korea webzine. The interview for this article was conducted at 10 am on February 16, 2023 (Link to Buy Basket Korea Webzine).
Choi Kwon-woo started playing basketball at a relatively late age. His start was later than others, but he was always serious about basketball. As a result, he grew faster than others.
Choi Kwon-woo, who is serious about basketball, said, “Becoming a basketball player is not my path. However, he wants to become a doctor who helps players rehabilitate by studying hard. I think it’s really rewarding. However, I hope that the players will not come to me because they are not injured.” Choi Kwon-Eu, who has a clear goal, is working harder than anyone else in both basketball and studies.
When did you start playing basketball?
Originally, I did swimming, which was an individual sport. At the time, he was attending school in Singapore. Given the opportunity, I worked out on the school swimming team. As I continued to exercise, my eyes were drawn to team sports rather than individual sports. Then he came across SK’s basketball and fell in love with it. It was so cool to see the players move organically as one. So he started playing basketball while attending Gangnam SK in his senior year. But unfortunately, because of Corona, I practiced a lot more individually than team practice.
What was the charm of basketball that you felt at that time?
Unlike other sports, possession of the ball is relatively long. And we have a lot of scoring chances and we score a lot of goals. The joy at the moment of scoring was immense. Actually, it was difficult when I first started. It was difficult to dribble and the shot did not go well. Then, over time, I learned a skill, and it was so much fun to score a goal after brilliantly breaking through the opponent’s defense with that skill.
If so, when did it grow a lot?
First of all, Coach Kyu-Beom Lee taught me the basics well. After that, he was selected for the SK national team because he was tall and had good basic skills. When I was playing basketball for the national team, basketball increased the most. From then on, I exercised more and more often. Both intensity and frequency were higher. Then I learned to play team basketball. It’s because the national team goes to competitions and plays a lot of basketball together. And coach Kwon Yong-woong and coach Kim Dong-wook taught me very delicately. Without the two of you, I don’t think I would have been able to grow in such a short period of time. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude.
When was your first competition?
I joined the SK youth basketball club and left after 7-8 months. In fact, at that time, I lacked basic prayer and had no skills. Still, the coach gave me equal playing time, so I ran a lot. However, I was disappointed because the results were not good. I was too tense. Originally, I was aiming for runner-up, but unfortunately I was eliminated.
Are you still very tense?
no. Now, as I compete a lot, I have found a routine to relax.
What is your relaxation routine like?
We start in the car on the way to the stadium. I talk to my parents in the car. Anticipate and analyze upcoming matches. At the same time, they learn the patterns instructed by the director and conduct image training. Above all, when I practice, I talk a lot with my friends. We just encourage each other by saying ‘we are the best’. By doing so, I felt confident and relieved a lot of tension.
Which competition was the most memorable for you?
Perhaps because I love basketball so much, all the competitions were impressive and meaningful. Still, if I had to pick one, it would be the competition from Yanggu and the most recent Chungju Mayor Cup competition. The competition from Yanggu was the biggest one, so I met so many friends. Then we all talked and became friends. The preparation process was also a bit different. We made a lot of memories while staying together and training together. The Chungju Mayor Cup was my last elementary school competition, so it was memorable. My performance at that time was also good. (Laughter) Being runner-up is more meaningful because you have achieved good grades and reaped some kind of beauty.
Have you ever thought about playing elite basketball?
I love basketball,크크크벳 but I don’t think it’s my path. (Laughter) It looks really cool and great, but I’m going the other way!
May I know your hopes for the future?
I want to study hard and become a doctor to help athletes rehabilitate in the distant future. I love basketball so much that later I want to treat injured players and help them keep playing on the court. It seems really rewarding. However, I hope that all the players will play without injuries and not visit me often. (Laughter)
Even if you go to middle school, will you continue playing basketball?
Yes, I will continue working out in SK. In fact, in elementary school, there were not many competitions because of Corona. Mask restrictions are gone now, and there are more competitions. Even though I can’t focus on basketball as much as I did in elementary school, I still want to do my best and win more championships.