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Where is the Glory University Basketball?The concern for University basketball disappeared.
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승인 2008.04.05  23:23:03
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Heo Jae, Kang Dong-hee, Lee Sang Min……They are all superstars on the Korean basketball.
Although they were noted pro basketball players, they were also famous as university basketball players. Because of them, university basketball was very popular in the 80’s ~90’s. In those days, the passion for university basketball stood at its peak.

The 80’s and 90’s were a Renaissance of Korean basketball, and university basketball led the Renaissance. Many people cannot talk about the history of Korean basketball without also talking about University basketball.

80’s - an era for CAU
In the 80’s, Chung-Ang University (CAU) dominated the field of university basketball. Originally, Korea University (KU) and Yonsei University (Yonsei) were the dominant teams. However, CAU broke their spirits. The heroes who reestablished the order of university basketball were a quartet of CAU players. They were Heo Jae, Kang Dong-hee, Kim Yoo-taek and Han Gi-bum. In particular, Heo Jae was a promising player since his high school days. When Heo Jae decided to attend CAU, a head coach at CAU reportedly cried loudly for joy. According to Heo Jae, he hates to live peacefully in a powerful team. The quartet centering on Heo Jae made all universities kneel down. They even frightened business teams. After they graduated, they dominated the pro basketball league, too.

90’s- return of Korea and Yonsei University Teams
In the 90’s, CAU’s dominion on the basketball court changed. To challenge CAU, KU and Yonsei universities jumped into a competition to scout promising players. Many star players emerged during this period. In the case of KU, Jeon Hee-chul, Hyun Joo-yeop and Kim Byung-chul lined up. Lee Sang-min, Seo Jang-hoon and Woo Ji-won and the others lined up at Yonsei. The players of Yonsei were the originators of the ‘Group for Girl’s Elder Brother’ (오빠부대).

   
 
   
 

However, the past passion and concern for University basketball has disappeared. Moreover, new star players are no longer emerging. For example, one of the largest tournaments, ‘Basketball Festival’ (농구대잔치) fell in status as a minor tournament. The ‘Basketball Festival’ was a symbol of both University and National basketball. The country’s passion for university basketball was made public during this tournament. Dynamic dunk shoots from competent foreign players did not exist at the ‘Basketball Festival’. Although an amateur tournament, the university basketball teams and the business ones fought for supremacy. There is a reason why the ‘Basketball Festival’ contained such passion.  In this tournament, University players would play matches with the business teams. Even the university teams overwhelmed the business teams. Actually, the business teams consisted of veteran players whose careers were better than that of the university players. Because the university players made an impact in spite of that disadvantage, many people including university students went crazy at this tournament.

However, nobody cheers for the university basketball in the stadium these days. People watch pro league games only. Of course, solutions are being suggested. One of them is the ‘Home & Away League System’, if this system is applied, university basketball will operate like the KBL (Korean Basketball League). In the USA, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) operates this system.

If university basketball is depressed, Korean basketball is depressed, too. Both are inseparably related. Many university basketball players need your cheers. Cheering for the players will help make them stars. Then maybe, the Renaissance of Korean basketball will be back.

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