Ji Min Jeong, Chapelgate, basketball

Q&A --

December 20, 2006|By GLENN GRAHAM | GLENN GRAHAM,Sun Reporter

Ji Min Jeong, a 17-year-old junior at Chapelgate Christian, is from Kwangju, South Korea, a city west of Seoul. He left Korea when he was 11 to live with his older brother in Vancouver, British Columbia, and then came to Chapelgate Christian through the Daniel Program as a freshman. He resides in a dormitory with other Chapelgate students who are part of the Daniel Program, which is aimed at fulfilling the desire of Korean parents for their children to bring back to Korea what they learn in the American evangelical culture. Jeong's parents and other family members live in Korea, and he returned home over the summer.

At Chapelgate, Jeong is the starting point guard and a team captain, and he also plays soccer for the Yellowjackets. Along with playing sports, Jeong is a member of the school choir and went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic last summer. He has a 3.3 grade point average and would like to stay in the United States to attend college. What do you miss most about home?

I miss my family. Here, when I get hurt or sick, I don't have my parents, so I need to take care of myself. And I miss my mom's cooking. She's a pretty good cook - I like everything she makes.

What are the differences between playing sports in Korea and here?

I used to play a lot of sports at home in Korea, but it was just pickup games with my friends. Here, I get to play with my teammates. I get to work with them - we are one; we play as a team, and that's one of my favorite things to do here. I listen to the coach and work with my teammates. It's hard, but I like it. As a captain, I need to make sure my teammates are following me and trying to do what the coach asks us to do.

Beyond sports, what are some of the biggest differences between here and back home?

In Korea, it's really hard to go to university there, and it's not very good. It's a much better education here. I think if you study here, you have a better opportunity to do whatever you want to do. And you can play sports and study. In Korea, if you want to play sports, you have to play sports all the time, and you can't do anything else.

What's your favorite food here?

I eat almost everything. I like pizza, but I don't eat fast food because it's bad for you.

What are you doing for Christmas?

I'm going on a snowboarding trip to West Virginia with my dorm friends. We're going for four days. I love to snowboard, it's one of my favorite winter sports with basketball. I'm looking forward to it, but I have to be careful not to get injured.

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