By Yeon Hwang and Sung Eun Kim, USAG Humphreys Public AffairsNovember 4, 2016
CAMP HUMPHREYS -- A Korean amateur basketball team played a friendly match against the Camp Humphreys Men's Basketball team at Super Gym in Camp Humphreys on Nov. 4. Despite a tenacious effort by the Korean team the Humphreys Men won the game 66-51.
The Korean amateur players are ordinary people who were selected by "Rebound" a Korean reality TV Show that airs on the XTM lifestyle channel.
"Rebound" is street basketball survival game that features four squads with strengths such as high speed, superior physical condition, excellent ball control and immense power. Each team has two or three coaches who select and train ordinary people to win the final game.
Dong Hyun Kim, was one of the Korean amateur players who earned a spot on a team.
"I joined the survival broadcast program named "Rebound" and we were drafted by one of the squads. Our coaches are celebrity Jinwoon Jeong and former basketball-playing brothers Seung Jun Lee and Dong Jun Lee. I applied for this program personally, passed the preliminary rounds twice and finished the round of 16. Today we had a friendly match with U.S. Soldiers before the next round," Kim said.
All three coaches visited Camp Humphreys with the players for two days before the game against the Humphreys team. Every player went through hard training the first day to be ready for a friendly game with the Soldiers.
Kim said he liked the fitness opportunities the Super Gym provide.
"The gym and fitness center in Camp Humphreys are so good. I feel like I could improve my ability much faster if I were to work out here," he said. "On Thursday, our team members had hard training here at Humphreys. Then we had a simple and friendly two-on-two match with two U.S. Soldiers."
The eleven Humphreys players conducted their own pre-game ceremony during the warm up time encouraging each other and raising their hands together. Meanwhile, the seven Korean amateur players sat in a circle on the floor and stretched their legs.
Command Sgt. Maj. Willie Frank Pearson Jr. of USAG Humphreys tossed the first jump ball at center court and thanked the Korean players for visiting Camp Humphreys. He wished both teams a good game.
The Humphreys Men started the game fast as the "Rebound" team took a few minutes to get acclimated. Humphreys took the lead in the first quarter with accurate shooting, aggressiveness, speed and spot on three-point shots. Humphreys stayed ahead for the remainder of the match. The Humphreys Men exhibited greater confidence in the second half resulting in a widening gap in the two teams' scores.
In spite of the "Rebound's" resilience and persistence, the Humphreys' defense was robust, blocking shots and constantly creating points. Their strong rebounding led to multiple fast breaks and points and they jumped to an insurmountable lead by the end of the game.
Though guest team "Rebound" had some tall players, the Humphreys team's combination of speed, skill and sharp shooters helped it control the game. They stuck to their strengths and it helped them to win.
After the game, Kim said they didn't expect the physical style of basketball the American team played.
"Honestly, the U.S. Soldiers were too tough to deal with, we were little embarrassed because we usually do not play a rough game like this, so I think we didn't do much good," Kim said. "If we had known their style, we would have played harder. That was sad."
Kim added that the combination of fitness and skill helped the Humphreys Men prevail.
"The U.S. Soldiers have a very good physical condition. I especially think we should learn their confident playing. Korean teams tend to do team playing but they are more focused on the individual. They have confidence and personal ability as well. We have to practice harder to improve those things."
Master Sgt. Jeremy Terry, of the 568th Medical Company, arrived at Humphreys in early October and decided to compete for the Humphreys Men's team after he saw a flyer advertising try outs.
"I heard that there were post team tryouts on the flyer so I just came out for the team; they just happened to have this event and I decided to play with them," Terry said. "I thought it went good. It was competitive, both teams played very hard. We had a little bit of fun as well, overall it was good."
Terry said he and the other Humphreys players learned from the Korean team.
"They played a very physical brand of basketball so we have to learn to just play through the contact and get stronger," he said. "Absolutely they are very physical brand."