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Loco about Basketball
Written by Chris Ghim | Published. 2021.01.08 20:49 | Count : 289

I am always proactive about playing and watching basketball. I have played basketball since I was in the fourth grade in elementary school. Not only have I played in Korea, but I have also played on a varsity basketball team in the United States. This article compares my experiences playing basketball in both countries.

[Snapshot of author (No. 25) running to the rim during a game against Atlanta HS.
Photo Credit: Chris Ghim]
[Snapshot of author (number 25) shooting the ball into the air.
Photo Credit: Chris Ghim]
[Snapshot of author landing after making a layup (two-point shot).
Photo Credit: Chris Ghim]

After getting on the varsity basketball team, I spent the season playing approximately 20 basketball games against other schools’ varsity teams. The most impressive games were against Traverse City Central High School on January 24, 2020, and Atlanta HS on February 17, 2020.

[Snapshot of author (white jersey on the left) taking a shot from behind the three-point line
during the game against Traverse City Central. Photo Credit: Chris Ghim]
[Snapshot of author scoring a three-point shot against Traverse City Central.
Photo Credit: Chris Ghim]

During the games, the players often used the play called “isolation,” where the attacker and defender are in a mismatch situation, which is when an offensive player has an advantage over a defensive player. The isolation play designates one defender to guard an attacker, which leads to a one-on-one game situation. This is a common play used by players in the United States. 

The experience of playing basketball games against other schools’ varsity teams had one huge impact that changed the way I think about basketball. I noticed that the referees didn’t frequently call fouls on players unless it was a violent foul (with “foul” being the term for giving penalties to players who violate the rules). This allows players to be tougher during the game and is part of their culture on the court. Also, I had formed the habit of bowing to the referee before getting the ball. However, the varsity players in the United States don’t do that kind of thing.

[Minsu Park, a Korean 3x3 basketball national player, playing a 3x3 basketball game.
Photo courtesy by Minsu Park]

In Korea, I had great opportunities to play basketball with a member of the Korean national basketball team, Minsu Park, and his teammates. He is well known in Korea for his speed and accurate shooting. 

[Photo of author (wearing glasses with a white shirt) and Minsu Park (possessing the ball)
attacking the rim. Photo Credit: Chris Ghim]
[Photo of author (wearing glasses with a white shirt) and Minsu Park playing defense.
Photo Credit: Chris Ghim]

Whenever playing games with him and his teammates, they use swift attacks based on their speed and frequently shoot from the three-point line. They also utilize screen plays. For instance, if an attacker tries to attack the rim, at least one or two teammates form a screen to secure his path and block defenders for the attacker. This technique leads the defenders to miss the attacker. To respond to this technique, the defenders swap responsibility for guarding the offensive players. In addition, they have great court vision, which allows players to make great passes to their teammates and use no-look passing (passing to teammates without looking, forcing defenders to guard the offensive player because they do not know which way the ball will go). For these reasons, Minsu Park and his teammates are very active while attacking and defending the rim. 

Ultimately, having experienced basketball in both United States and Korea, I found that varsity players in the United States leverage their physical advantages against their opponents while Korean players, like Minsu Park and his teammates use their speed, great court vision, and passing skills. From these experiences, I learned that you have be tough to play games on varsity teams in the United States, and while playing with Minsu Park and teammates, I realized that I should improve my court vision in order to be a good passer. Overall, these experiences gave me excellent opportunities to further develop my basketball skills. 

Chris Ghim 
Grade 11 
The Learning Community International School

What is 3x3 Basketball?

Chris Ghim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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