Bending his body and posing for the camera of one of his little fans, he says in an amused tone, “Don’t cover that hole!” (referring to the lens of the camera). His signature bright smile makes Hong Wei Jian a recognisable figure in Singapore’s basketball scene. As I observe him coaching a class made up of children from Kiddywinkie and Alphabet Playhouse childcare centre, I cannot help but smile at Wei Jian’s rapport with the kids.
Many fans have been aware that national player, Hong Wei Jian, has been suffering from a knee and ligament injury. Today, Jumpshot will be giving you an update on his situation…with additional bits of news about his personal life!
Hi Wei Jian, we are glad to have you here today. How is your knee and ligament healing? Does it still hurt?
It still hurts if I walk or stand for too long, or if I am not paying attention when I’m walking, I can feel the joint shifting. I feel like a toddler learning to walk sometimes, but I’m recovering faster than I expected, so it’s a good sign.
What kinds of treatment are you currently undergoing?
I’m recovering well thanks to the support and help from the staff in SSC. They have been very helpful and patient with me in my physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and also providing me with knowledge of strengthening my knee and preventing further injuries in order for me to make a comeback. It’s just some basic non-weight bearing exercises, as I am still unable to take pressure on my knee. I’m going for pool sessions soon, so it should be fun.
We understand that you have been unable to train. Are you discouraged by the injury?
I’m a very positive person, so whatever happens, I’ll still look on the bright side. It may be a blessing in disguise, I’m beginning to treasure my body more and I am looking forward to my recovery so that I can work on some new skills that I’ve been observing since the injury.
Do you think you will be able to recover in time for the season in September?
I’m not sure. Right now, it’s still too early for me to judge, but I’ll definitely be able to train with the team. Competition wise, let’s just leave it to what my knee says.
Who do you think will take your place if you are unable to recover in time? Everyone in the team has got what it takes to be the starting local. They have been training very hard throughout the post-season, so all of them will be much better than before when the new season begins. Who knows, maybe the new coach might start with five locals next season?
So what have you been up to during this period of rest?
I’m doing some promotion for Slingers and doing part-time coaching of some kids. Most of my time is still spent in SSC with my trainer.
Coaching children? What is the age range of the children you coach?
Yeah, from a childcare centre. They are kids ranging from ages 6 – 12.
Do you like kids and are you enjoying yourself?
Of course I do like them, but that doesn’t mean I want a kid myself. They are very innocent and very willing to learn. No matter what types of simple tricks you show them, they will be very amazed by you. That is something I enjoy doing, haha!
Any tips on how to handle young kids? Do you lose your voice?
When I first started, I had to drink honey everyday. However, as I coach, I learnt that whenever you raise your voice when they are talking, they will just get louder. The trick is that you just have to whisper softly, then they will quieten down to figure out what you are saying.
Let’s go on to more personal questions. We heard that you have just gone through a break-up with your girlfriend?
Let’s not use the phrase “break-up”, it sounds wrong. More like we’re no longer together. A relationship for 2 years plus, and it’s good that both of us are moving on well and enjoying our singlehood.
There have been rumours going around that you asked another girl to a hotel? What do you have to say about that?
I think it is amusing that people come up with these kinds of rumours, but I really enjoy the attention. It shows that there are people out there who chat about me during their lunch breaks!
Can somebody start a thread that I am dating Angelina Jolie right now? I’ll be real grateful.Haha!
And what about the rumour that you were spotted clubbing?
I went to Zouk a month ago in my basketball attire and a pair of crutches, how cool is that? I guess that will set a new record in terms of the dress-codes for Zouk.
Actually, I only passed by to collect my long forgotten membership card from some event. I would have paid anyone who dares to go clubbing in a basketball jersey and crutches. I’ll provide the equipment, just drop me a mail.
Ahh, that wouldn’t be a pretty sight, would it?
Written by: Wong Jiexin Jaslyn, Jumpshot Mag