Kang Yu-rim’s fingertips, explosive power and potential, and the WKBL map
This article was published in the December 2022 issue of Basket Korea webzine. The interview took place on the afternoon of November 18, 2022. ( Link to Purchase Basket Korea Webzine )
Yongin Samsung Life Insurance finished the first round with Asan Woori Bank and Busan BNK Some in a tie for first place (4 wins and 1 loss). In particular, it overwhelmed Woori Bank, which was a strong candidate for the championship, with its offensive power. Although it is the first round, the momentum of Samsung Life Insurance is unusual.
Kang Yoo-rim’s scoring ability is also unusual. If you look at the first round alone, WKBL’s top scorer. Thanks to Kang Yoo-rim’s scoring ability, Samsung Life Insurance rose above expectations. Kang Yu-rim is also receiving more than expected reviews.
“I thought it was just the beginning.”
After graduating from Cheongju Girls’ High School, Yu-Rim Kang entered Gwangju University. Since 2016, she has made Gwangju University the best team on the college stage for two years. She also led Gwangju University to the championship in the 2018 MBC Bae National University Basketball Tournament. Kang Yoo-rim, who led the heyday of Gwangju University, joined Bucheon Hanawon Q in the 2nd round and 3rd place in the 2019-2020 WKBL New Player Selection.
Kang Yoo-rim was an overwhelming big man on the college stage. He didn’t have the image of a good shooter as he is now. However, at 175 cm, it was difficult to see a center in the pros. He needed a change of position. So I put in a lot of effort, and after a lot of effort, I established myself as a shooter. The beginning was the 2020-2021 season.
He joined Hana 1Q in the 2nd round and 3rd place in the 2019-2020 WKBL Freshman Selection.
He wasn’t called by name, so I was very anxious. But I was very happy to be nominated. He only had good memories.
He didn’t make his debut right after the draft. I think it must have been a big regret.
His regret was not great. He didn’t have a lot of desire to play in the game. But I thought the opportunity would come. I think he prepared for his professional debut with that mindset.
In the 2020-2021 season, we played all regular league matches (30 matches). His average playing time also reached 25 minutes and 9 seconds.
(Kang Yoo-rim recorded 7.3 points, 3.97 rebounds, 1.2 3-pointers per game and 31.8% 3-point success rate that season)
I didn’t get many opportunities during the off-season. It wasn’t like I played a lot of practice matches. He never thought he would run like this.
For the first time in his debut, he played a full season in the regular league. Did you have any physical difficulties?
There were also difficult times. But he made his debut as a professional player. His good heart was greater. He only has good memories.
His position in college was big man. But he changed his position from pro to shooter.
As you said, my position was really vague. But the coach recognized my shooting skills. So, he ordered me to practice shooting a lot. In particular, he emphasized fast shooting with one timing.
He won the rookie of the year in the 2020-2021 season. It is an award that can only be received once in a lifetime.
A good heart, of course, was great. But the thought that this is the beginning was stronger. I also felt the need to do better.
“The 2021-2022 season? It was so hard.”
Kang Yoo-rim, who won the Rookie of the Year title, faced a change in status (?) after the end of the 2020-2021 season. This is because of the triangular trade between Hana 1Q, BNK, and Samsung Life. (Samsung Life gave Kim Han-byeol to BNK, and BNK gave marbles to Hana 1Q. At the same time, they also transferred the first round nomination rights to Samsung Life. Hana 1Q gave Kang Yoo-rim sent to Samsung Life Insurance, and gave Samsung Life Insurance the priority for the first round for two consecutive years)
. The first trade and unfamiliar team came to Kang Yoo-rim’s reality. Kang Yoo-rim’s heart could have been shaken. However, he got more opportunities amid expectations from Samsung Life Insurance. Although he did not make it to the playoffs, Kang Yoo-rim gained quite a lot of experience.
After the 2020-2021 season, I left Hana One Q in a triangle trade.
As I said before, I wanted to do better than the season when I was crowned Rookie of the Year. I wanted to be of more help to Hana 1Q, which was my team. However, he was suddenly traded to Samsung Life Insurance. I think that’s why it was more difficult.
to Samsung Life Insurance. What was your first impression?
Director Lim Geun-bae, don’t directly reprimand what’s wrong. It’s a style that makes players realize themselves. Also, he pursues the basketball he thinks for himself.
I also thought to myself what I should do. The free atmosphere was also different from before. I guess that’s why it was so difficult. But now I think I’ve adapted to some extent. I also figured out what role I should play for the team.
In the 2021-2022 season, we played all regular league matches (30 matches). The average playing time also rose slightly to 26 minutes and 42 seconds.
(Kang Yoo-rim recorded 7.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists that season)
Actually, it was a very difficult season. It was a lot of pressure.
Did you have a reason?
Right after receiving the rookie award, I received a lot of expectations from people around me. Besides, because of the trade, interest in me has increased. The pressure to live up to expectations was too great. That kind of pressure came out through impatient play.
The saddest thing is that they didn’t make it to the playoffs.
It was very, very sad (I emphasized the word ‘very, very’) because the playoffs were just around the corner. But I think I realized a lot.
“I wanted to be good at basketball.”
Kang Yoo-rim grew into a WKBL rookie shooter. However, there were many things he failed to do, and there were many things he lacked. In particular, ‘playoff game 0’ stimulated Kang Yoo-rim.
So Kang Yoo-rim spent the summer of 2022 more harshly. While adapting his body to his team color, he did not stop moving to strengthen his positional competitiveness. The reason was simple. The reason Kang Yoo-rim revealed was “I wanted to play basketball well.” 토토사이트
How did you spend this off-season?
I practiced more shooting so that I could balance shooting in any situation. And I practiced the movements when the shot didn’t go well with the instructor who moved there.
What was the difference from the previous off-season?
I tested a lot of the moves I practiced in practice matches. There were trial and error, but the movements I practiced came out better and better in practice. At the same time, I didn’t hesitate more than before, and I think I gained more confidence.
Meanwhile, Samsung Life pursued faster basketball than before. What order did Director Lim Geun-bae give?
He was also ordered by the coach to “throw with confidence even in a fast attack”. And he gave me a lot of faith and a lot of opportunities. I think that’s why I’m more comfortable throwing.
Was there a difference in mindset?
In the 2021-2022 season, I was just trying to live up to the expectations of others. But not this off-season. I think the key to this off-season was the desire to play basketball so well. Because I had such a big heart, I think I practiced more.
“As confident as the first round!”
Samsung Life recruited Kiana Smith, an overseas compatriot, at the 2022-2023 WKBL Freshman Selection. Kiana Smith is a player who combines shooting and ball handling. It was an existence that could diversify Samsung Life’s attack options.
Bae Hye-yoon and Kiana Smith played the role of Samsung Life’s one-two punch. There was someone who poured oil on it. It is Kang Yoo-rim. Samsung Life’s triangle formation was completed with various shooting options, quick switching of offense and defense, and dirty work.
In addition, at the end of the first round, Kang Yoo-rim ranked 2nd in 3-point shooting success rate (46.2%), 2nd in 3-point shooting per game (2.4), 3rd in contribution (167.50), and 4th in average scoring (18.6 points). . Most of the points and 3-point shooting figures are at the top of the league. Although only the first round has passed, Kang Yu-rim has been reborn as a popular shooter in WKBL.
He showed a different performance from round 1. did you expect
(Kang Yoo-rim scored 18.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in an average of 34 minutes and 34 seconds in 5 games in the first round, and made 2.4 3-pointers per game. His 3-point shot success rate reached 46.2%)
I was confident. But it seems to have worked out a lot more than I thought. In particular, we scored more goals than expected (laughs).
The performance against Woori Bank was the most impressive.
(Kang Yoo-rim, who played full-time in the Woori Bank game, scored 22 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 rebounds. Samsung Life defeated Woori Bank, who was a candidate for the championship, 85-74. only defeat.)
Woori Bank is a strong team. It’s a team with only good players. All of our players acknowledged that. However, I went into the game with the mindset of ‘Even if we are strong people, we have to keep fighting and bumping into each other’.
I also did well in the previous games, but I wanted to do well against a team like Woori Bank. That way, I thought it would be a little more stable. The results were also good. But…
what does ‘but’ mean?
It worked out well, but it felt like walking on thin ice. I was still going up, so I thought I would go down if I slipped a little. I felt anxious and scared.
I don’t know if it’s because of my anxiety, but I’m worried about the next Woori Bank match. Woori Bank gave me a lot of points, so I’ll make the check more severe in the next round. If Woori Bank keeps me in check, I have to think about how to deal with the check.
The collaboration with Kianna Smith was also outstanding. You showed good chemistry from the practice game.
Qiyana’s possession time is long, and the opponent’s defense is also focused on Qiyana. I thought that if I wanted to survive on the court, I had to be concise. I decided that the ball holding time should also be short. So I tried to quickly find an empty space.
Also, even if I receive the ball a little late, I can’t easily throw a shot. Because of my position as a shooter, I get a lot of checks. But Qiyana’s pass timing is quick. Give the ball as soon as you see a chance. So I think there were a lot of derivative options due to Kiana.
Samsung Life also finished the first round tied for first place.
We have a lot of players who can run fast on our team. The coach emphasizes ‘reckless defense’ and ‘quick attack’. Because those things came together well, I think our team’s performance was good.
I think the goal could have been bigger.
I finished the first round in a good mood, but the match against BNK was very disappointing. It was a game to reflect on. (Samsung Life Insurance lost 62-84 to BNK in the first round) However, our team finished the first round with a ‘tied first place’. I want all players to have confidence. I hope I can be as confident as I was in the first round.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds (laughs). I left a record that exceeded expectations, and other teams won’t let me go easily. But I hope my performance doesn’t drop too much. After forming a certain average, I hope to maintain that average well.