Just some basics from Maryland coach Gary Williams on the restoration of Jin Soo Kim‘s eligibility.
“I thought he deserved to be playing, so I’m glad to see the NCAA give us the waiver,” Williams said. “I don’t know how the committees work or how long it’s supposed to take. But I’m just glad for him he didn’t miss much time.”
Next up was a question about how much the language barrier affects Kim, a native of South Korea, during practice.
“No, he’s learned a few new words this year to help him along,” Williams said. “That’s my outreach to the international community.”
As a vocabulary builder, I asked while wondering to myself how many —- how to put this —- colorful phrases Kim has learned around Williams?
“That’s part of being a teacher,” Williams said. “He’s a great kid. I always put myself in his position. Greivis [Vasquez] did the same thing. If I went to France and was playing on a French basketball team and trying to understand a coach who only spoke French, I’d have problems. He really tries, and that’s all you can ask. I try to repeat things sometimes to him because I think he still translates. He doesn’t pick up English and it’s automatically there. He has to translate it, so I have to have the patience to do that. But he’s been great in terms of his effort. He helps us in practice. Hopefully, now he can go and be a basketball player like everybody else. It’s been a tough first five months or so for him just to get on the court.”
—- Patrick Stevens