Hyderabad, Nov 20 (IANS) The Pro Kabaddi League has helped the popularity of the game to grow across the globe, and South Korean player Dong Geon Lee, who plays for the Adani Gujarat Giants in Season 9, is a great example of this.
A fan of basketball and warm weather, Lee is hopeful that his stint with the Adani Gujarat Giants in India will help him move closer to realizing his dreams of donning the national team colours and eventually making his way to the Asian Games.
“I began playing Kabaddi during my university days. There weren’t many Kabaddi players, perhaps 50 . But I wanted to play, so I did, and I want to play for the country at the Asian Games,” Lee said.
Lee, who first came to India in 2017 to play Kabaddi, enjoys working with Gujarat Giants coach Ram Mehar Singh and is keen to learn from his experience.
“Ram Mehar Singh is a very good coach. I will improve with more practice and experience under him. By playing here, I can learn more and teach other players in Korea so that we can win games.”
“Coach is tough on us during practise, but that is important so we don’t make mistakes in the games,” Lee explained.
Lee says Kabaddi may not be the most popular sport in his country, but names like Ajay Thakur and Pawan Sehrawat are well-known and adds that language is not the issue.
“We play Kabaddi, it is about movements and making the right decision. Kabaddi is all about listening to the coach and putting the plan into action. I don’t have a problem with the language. I am learning Hindi. I did not play much in my first year. Now that there has been a lot of changes, I have a better understanding of the game.”
Inspired by legendary Michael Jordan, Lee, who is a fan of Indian food, says now he is not nervous before or during games.
“Talent and passion are important at the professional level and after playing in the PKL with the Adani Gujarat Giants, I hope more players from Korea join. Maybe next year, maybe after the Asian Games,” Lee signed off.