To kick-start the series of Featured Hwachongians, HCunite scores an exclusive interview with David & Peter Soo from basketball. In the coming weeks, they will be battling our opponents out on court, flying our HC flag high. Let’s hear from them!
1. How are you guys gearing up for the Nationals? It must be pretty tough having to juggle school work, tests, and the academic demands of JC life on top of training sessions that last till at night! Any special techniques or routines you’d like to share with us?
David: We are currently, as usual, practicing our fundamentals and drilling a lot on the team play. After training, when it is late evening, we would stop by King Albert Park to study so as to maximize the use of our time. If we were to go home instead, much of our time would be spent on dinner and washing up. By the time we start start studying, it would already be sleeping time.
Peter: Training lasts till night but I guess I’m used to it since my secondary school days. I agree training like this takes up a lot of my time though, allowing me to do only a bit of my homework before sleeping in. I do not have any special techniques to cope with studies and training other than going somewhere else to study after training instead of heading straight home to save time. The time when I can still focus.
2. Did the both of you decide to join basketball together? Tell us about your basketball journey from the start till now:) Any highs or lows?
David: No, we started liking basketball in primary school, unfortunately, there was no such cca then, so the only cca which interested me was Boy’s Brigade. In 2007, when my brother and I were in secondary 1, we went to different schools. I went to Zhenghua secondary school while my brother went to unity secondary school. Realizing that zhenghua’s basketball team was not strong, I decided to join volleyball. When I watched my brother’s west zone finals, his coach noticed and requested me to Join their team as my height was considered quite tall then. After playing volleyball for a year, I switched my main sport to basketball. I remember when I played for unity sec in 2008, I fractured my right ankle during the semi finals and could not play in the finals. That was one of my ‘lows’ in my basketball journey so far. Other than that, my lows also includes the times when I did not play to a certain standard. Last year, unity sec won the national b div championship. This was obviously the ‘high’ in my basketball journey. Besides that, I was selected to represent Singapore in various competitions like ASEAN schools games, where we won 2nd, and the SEABA games.
Peter: No. We didn’t start playing basketball together at the same time. I started first. In my primary school, there is no basketball as a cca, so I did not have any advantage, like using dsa to enter a school that is well known for basketball. With my PSLE aggregate, I chose Unity Sec as I could enter that school using my results, at the same time was eyeing on basketball as my cca when I came to know that they were top 4 in the national rounds then. I felt the interest to play basketball when I saw my seniors playing during primary school days and with my neighbours encouraging me. Obviously, with no skills during the basketball try outs, I got rejected by the coach and was forced to join scouts. My sister helped me by asking her schoolmate in Hwa Chong, basketball team to introduce me to his basketball club outside. After about 4 months of training, I went back to my coach and ask if I could join the cca. Somehow, he looked at me then told me to train with the rest. From then on, I took up basketball as my second cca and made it into the team, representing my school in competitions. The following year, in sec 2, I changed basketball as my first cca. With more trainings and experiences on court, I improved and this is where I am today. I faced many different kinds of injuries, from sprains, to backaches, to internal bleeding. Once I had to suck out 60ml of blood from my right thigh. Thank God I recovered from all of those.
3. It must be pretty cool to have your twin playing on court! Is it an added advantage to have your brother as your teammate? How so?
David: I must admit that there will be a little advantage. I would say we can “read each other’s mind”. Not literally, but since we have been playing so much basketball together, we somehow understand each other better and know what kind of passes to make, etc.
Peter: I feel it is an advantage to have my bro on court playing alongside with. He has almost the same agility as me and more importantly, he has been close to me since I was born, so I understand him very well. Plus, our camaraderie is much better than others.
4. On top of basketball, you guys might have a future as security guards as well! It was cool to see both of you acting in dramafeste. Any other leisurely pursuits besides basketball, and ever considered a career in acting?
David: Frankly speaking, I have never really thought about going too serious about acting, but if the opportunity comes, why not seize it? Speaking of acting, during the end of sec 3, I, together with my crew, which includes my brother, represented unity sec in a national video competition and won the 2nd position. We acted as loan sharks in a short movie, ‘De Ja Vu’.
Peter: Be security guards??!??! No way! Acting did cross my mind before but I guess I have decided to abandon that idea as it is not my main liking. I like swimming, basically, almost any sports.
5. As the season approaches, we’d like to know how you guys prepare for matches on top of regular trainings. How do you prepare yourselves mentally, as well as counter setbacks that you face?
David: How do we prepare for matches? One of the methods is to set ourselves in the appropriate mode for the game by listening to appropriate music. Another way is to practice our moves we are going to make on court through visualisation, for example, shooting, driving to the basket, etc.
Peter: It all boils down to whispering encouraging words to my ears. When I did a mistake on court; for example, missing an open lay up, immediately I would feel very lousy about myself but not letting that affect the rest of my game, I would ponder over it during any point of rest, imagine how I could improve and not repeat, also, encouraging myself to boost my confidence again.
6. Last but not least, any shout-outs to your supporters, fellow athletes and your teammates out there?
David: To my supporters, fellow athletes and teammates out there, don’t stop setting higher goals for yourselves and do your best to achieve then. There is no failure, only learning experience.
Peter: I would like to day to fellow athletes to PLAY WITH PASSION, PIN DOWN YOUR OBSTACLES!
Thank you for this interview which gave us a little bit of insight into your hectic lives:) We’d like to wish David, Peter, and the basketball team all the best in their upcoming season. The school is behind you all the way!
Do leave a tag for any requests for featured Hwachongians!