“I had an unforgettable experience with 3×3. For someone who never saw the light of day in 5v5, it was a dream come true.”
With summer in full swing, 3×3 fever is at its peak. Since April, Korea Tour and KXO have been hosting 3×3 tournaments representing Korea, and this season, the men’s league division is showing the characteristics of the Spring and Autumn Warring States Period, where there are no strong and weak players.
As I enjoy the 3×3 season, I sometimes find myself wondering. It’s when you don’t see the players who performed well in the previous season or in 3×3 international competitions on the court. Due to the structure of 3×3 in Korea, where 3×3 cannot be a “full-time job,” most of the players who suddenly disappear focus on their main job to make a living.
Jang Dong-young, who has had a stellar career as a professional 3×3 player in recent years, including representing his country at the national level, had offers from other teams before this season, but decided to leave the 3×3 court for a while to focus on his main business, running a youth basketball class in Gimpo.
“This year, I took a break from playing 3×3 and focused on running a basketball class. “For nearly four years, I’ve been giving up almost every weekend to play 3×3, so I’ve been neglecting my kids’ basketball lessons and spending less time with my family. I still have the ability to play and I still have the desire to play, but the domestic 3×3 structure makes it difficult to do both. I’m going to focus on my main job this year,” he said of his decision to leave the 3×3 court.
Jang Dong-young, who hasn’t been able to blossom much in the pros due to injuries, but has gained a lot from 3×3, including making it to the national team, said, “Actually, I started playing 3×3 because I dreamed of making the national team. I had unforgettable experiences through 3×3, such as being selected for the national team, wearing a taegeum mark, and working with different players on different teams. It was a stage where I was able to fulfill my dreams after not seeing the light of day in 5v5,” he said of his love for 3×3.
“I started playing 3×3 in 2018, and I only remember losing a lot in the first year. I think the second year was the most memorable. I got to play for the national team and wear the Korean flag, and I played at the Asian Cup with my brother (Lee) Seung-jun, (Park) Jin-soo, and (Kim) Dong-woo, and we beat Iran to advance to the main draw. I think that’s probably the most memorable time,” he recalled.
However, Jang made it clear that he is not retiring from 3×3. “I can’t say with this interview that I’m retiring. Anyway, as the years go by, there are a lot of young players coming up in the 3×3 stage, and I feel like retiring, but I don’t know for sure yet.” “This year, I definitely stepped out of the league division, and 3×3 was selected as a demonstration sport for the national championships in Mokpo in August this year, so I would like to represent Gimpo City or Gyeonggi Province once. For the time being, I want to put down the pressure of performance and enjoy myself.”
While Jang is taking a break from his 3×3 career, he promises to continue his efforts to nurture youth as the leader of the Gimpo basketball class he runs.
“Since the movie Slam Dunk, Rebound was released, there are more and more kids in the Gimpo area who want to start playing basketball. “Personally, I like 5-on-5, but as a coach who has experienced 3-on-3, I want to teach them the fun and charm of 3-on-3 based on my experience as a professional 3-on-3 player. I think it would be interesting to see a teacher and student playing for Gimpo City. I want to inspire them to go beyond Gimpo and win national titles like I did.”
At the end of the interview, Jang Dong-young once again expressed his gratitude, saying that he has gained a lot from 3×3.
“Actually, I’m just grateful for everything. I’m very sad right now, but after I’m ready for the future, I’ll come back to the court if I get the chance. I had a dream time thanks to 3×3, and the welcome I received was unexpected, and I don’t think I’ve ever let go of basketball. For the time being, I will stay courtside as a fan and support the Korean 3×3 players along with the fans.” 스포츠토토