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Korea can look ahead with confidence

SEOUL (FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2017) – It has been a challenging time for Korea in recent years but Federation President Yul Pang has insisted his country is heading in the right direction.

With a desire to increase the talent pool in his country, make an Olympic return, deal with the added competition from Oceania nations in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2017 and the need to appoint a new head coach, there is plenty on the ‘to-do list’.

FIBA.com caught up with the President to find out more about his thoughts on the current position of the sport in Korea.

How is the process for the appointment of a new women's head coach going and what are the most important qualities that you are looking for?
We are looking on the basis of their performance and results in the domestic league, their knowledge about international basketball and virtues, for them to be considered as a good leader. As the 2016-17 club season has just ended, we are planning to convene a meeting of the Technical Committee soon, in order to discuss potential coaches for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup and also the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup.

The impact of Australia and New Zealand playing in tournaments with Korea might make it much more difficult to qualify for global competitions. Is this a concern or a maybe a new challenge the Federation, coaches and players should enjoy?
Australia and New Zealand are more like European opposition for us, considering their physical condition and cultural aspect as well. Therefore, of course, it is a big concern for us. However, it is a very exciting challenge at the same time. We, the Federation, the coaches and players, will all have chances more often to experience different styles of basketball, different heights and skills.

What are the realistic aims/ambitions of the senior team in this new cycle?
We aim to reclaim the top spot in Asian women’s basketball, especially at the FIBA Asia Women’s Cup 2017 and to make a return to the Olympics.

Park Jisu continues to be the big hope for the future of Korea

Park Jisu remains the special talent and is still very young, do you see her being able to inspire girls in Korea and become a role model for the future?
Yes, without doubt, she is the hope for our younger generation. She is continuously getting better, and growing day by day. She is already an inspiration to all our younger girls.

Has the Federation been able to solve the issue of a lack of girls playing basketball in in schools and will Korea have the talent in the future to continue as a leading nation in Asia?
We are still making efforts to stop this problem by strengthening basketball participation at grass-root level. To start with, we have already organized a youth basketball camp which took place last year where participants were both elite and non-elite players. Therefore, yes, I believe if we keep pursuing our aims and visions, we will not lose our title as a leading nation in Asia.