In his playing days, Hung Jun-jen was regarded as one of the most prolific scorers in Taiwan hoops history. He was also one of the most relaible playmakers on the national team. Hung Jun-jun and his older brother Hung Jun-cheh were the most outstanding brother tandem in Taiwan hoops history, in addition to the Cheng family, which sees as many as five brothers making the NT roster in different time period.
After hanging up his sneakers, Hung went into coaching. He coached CBA's Dacin Tigers in 1996-97 season and compiled a 17-43 record. Most recently he coached Nanya Plastics Women's Basketball Team, which folded last month, in A-League.
Hung lives in California, USA now. With help from my friend Jeh Lin, Taiwan Hoops E-Zine is glad to have an opportunity to sit down with coach Hung talking about the CBA and the Taiwanese basketball.
Coach Hung's point of view about CBA's rise and fall and suggestions on how to strengthen Taiwan's professional basketball movement again.-
Q1. How did CBA really begin and what made it successful?
A. The beginning is really because of love, people's plain and simple love of basketball. Because of that strong love, people try really hard to jump start the league on the right foot. It was truly the dreams of basketball enthusiasts to have a professional basketball league in Taiwan, just like the NBA in the States. It's for national pride and for the sake of basketball movement. However, if the beginning point was only because of love, then it will lose the luster and the drive. It will be a temporary growth with no organization and stronger force to make it work.
Q2. Why did the CBA fall?
A. In essence, with no proper planning and organization, the league does not last long. The initial love of basketball pushing the growth of CBA ought to be sustained and nurtured by proper and experienced and willingness to develop organized structure of management, but there was none. Instead, the management of CBA overall was very inconsistent. It was lacking professionalism at all infrastructure level. Another sign of CBA demise was that the lack of good, fundamental, coaching infrastructure. Foreign player movement was also constantly changing and unstable. Overall, from the league management to coaching to the player development, along with lack of strong, consistent marketing, lead to the demise of CBA.
Q3. What are your suggestions on how to get CBA and professional basketball back on its ground?
A. Taiwan still has the huge market potential for the development of professional sports.
* A) It has the potential in coaching. College level PE dept needs to have classes in coaching to develop quality coaches.
* B) Even though CBA is supposedly geared toward general masses and consumers, but it has many good things and benefits for the society as a whole, thus the government should strongly sponsor in a effective manner and systematic manner, from the central to state to local governments.
* C) Location is very important; the placements of the teams and growth of team identity. Fan target audience in the past was based on junior and high school level students. However, in order to grow a stronger fan base, the target should be family level, leading to broader and more stable fane audience. Local teams have its local cities, thus need to grow better management, leading to better identity and awareness of the team.
* D) To go a step further, family level audience is important first of all to reach, but the next level with the potential and the financial help needed will be the corporations, thus having good ties with corporations, corporate sponsorships will be important. Discounts and etc to corporations will be an example. Local basketball organizations need to help as well. Season ticket is important with corporation sales.
* E) Overall planning is very important, draft and player development and etc. Confusion with League A is an issue that needs to be solved. In the past it used to league A who, with its own long history, dominating the basketball circuit. There has to be cooperation between league A and CBA, developing proper relationship in jointly developing players, an example would be the minor leagues system.
-Coach Hung's current projects and involvements here in the States.-
* 1. Helping and sponsoring local churches to do sports outreach toward the Chinese community, mainly immigrants and students, helping them to adjust to local areas thru basketball, and, in turn, leading them to Christianity through discussions and sharing. Coach Hung leads a group of young players to play in various basketball tournaments locally in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.
* 2. Actively planning and structuring basketball camps for the next generation during summer. Effective basketball camps, teaching players from age range of 10-18 year olds, have taken place in local cities and towns, such as Fremont, Cupertino, and etc. There will be a camp coming up in the metropolitan city area of Los Angeles. Later on there is planning to be in the East Coast, NY. Vancouver, Canada, Chinese community has also shown interests in setting up camps there. Even Southeast Asia, Thailand Chinese community would like to have camps there as well. A vast growth of basketball camps leading the next generation to fundamental basketball.
* 3. Very blessed to have these experiences in North America, coordination with churches and helping kids in basketball and in their understanding of faith and Christianity is very rewarding.
Many thanks to Jeh Lin, who helps with the interview session and this Q & A article for Taiwan Hoops.
Jeh Lin Profile
Currently president and founder of start-up firm, Zimba Sports Marketing Inc. Zimba Sports company objective is to connect global sports to the Greater Chinese Community worldwide, hence the Zimba model of " G-to-G". We specialize in marketing and public relations for sports organizations, develop broadcasting efforts for the overseas Chinese community, and create sports event planning to foster & unite Chinese community relationship.Currently Jeh is also hosting a 5 minute sports news show at a local Chinese radio station. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org