Former women’s professional basketball coach Cho Dong-kyu of the Hana Wonq is becoming a renowned coach in wheelchair basketball.
The head coach of the Chuncheon Tigers wheelchair basketball team led the team to a second consecutive title at the 10th Jeju Special Self-Governing Province National Wheelchair Basketball Championship, which ended on July 31 in Jeju Island.
Cho, who played for the national basketball team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, has been in charge of the 홀덤사이트 Chuncheon Wheelchair Basketball Team since 2019 and won the Holt Cup and the Jeju Governor’s Cup in 2022, as well as the wheelchair basketball regular season title.
This year, he also won the Postal Service Headquarters Championship and the Jeju Island Governor’s Championship, making the Chuncheon Tigers one of the strongest teams in wheelchair basketball in Korea.
From the time Cho took over the helm of the wheelchair basketball team in 2019, he has been recognized as an anomaly.
It was the first time a coach who had been the head coach of a men’s and women’s professional team in Korea was teaching wheelchair basketball, and the differences between the two sports are significant.
Currently, four of the six teams in the first division have coaches who are former wheelchair basketball players.
“I’ve never played wheelchair basketball, so it’s almost safe to say I’m a ‘non-player,'” Cho, who won the Jeju Island Governor’s Coach Award this year, told Yonhap News Agency on Thursday, explaining, “There are sensitive parts of the game that only players who have played wheelchair basketball know, such as when a screen is set or a foul is called.”
The patterns are different from those used in able-bodied basketball because you have to move around in a wheelchair.
Traveling rules are similar to those in able-bodied basketball, with limits on the number of times a wheelchair wheel can be pushed, as well as rules for counting the disabilities of players on the same team toward points.
Although all of the players are seated in wheelchairs, the height of the wheelchairs and the cushions they sit on are limited due to the nature of the sport.
“I’ve been coaching for four years, but even if I have a pattern, I can’t neglect communication, such as asking the players first if they think it will work,” Cho said, laughing, “I want to help spread the word about wheelchair basketball.”
“When I asked our players what their goal was, they said, ‘Win the whole tournament,'” he said. “I actually think it’s more important to play a fun game even if we lose one or two games to promote wheelchair basketball a little more than ‘win the whole tournament,'” he added.
“It is also important to build a good team culture and become a prestigious club that players want to go to,” Cho said. “Last year, after winning the regular season, we lost in the championship game, so my goal is to win the championship game this year.”