Capt Talk - Reflections of our A Div Girls Captain '19 Kang Yi
Griffles: Morning Kang Yi! Time has flown by so quickly... Just two years ago, you were playing in the NSG B Div finals representing Jurong Secondary School against Christchurch Secondary School where you put in a MVP performance to help your school claim the title.
After that, you were offered a DSA spot to join Raffles and play for Raffles Basketball.
On hindsight, looking back at your two years journey with us, what’s your thoughts about your decision to join Raffles?
If I had the chance, I would still choose to go to Raffles.
The friends that I made in these short 2 years and the experiences that I had with them are very precious to me. I was initially reluctant to go to Raffles, but my parents encouraged me to accept the DSA offer.
Who knew that my next 2 years would be my most fulfilling and fun years yet.
I’ve learnt so much and I am very thankful for the system here in Raffles, especially the amount of help and support I’ve gotten from the school.
Griffles: That's great to hear.
Could you share with us a bit more about your experience with Raffles Basketball?
Personally, it was a very fun two years with Raffles Basketball. The teachers-in-charge of this CCA are very supportive, passionate and are very willing to help basketballers out, be it in basketball or studies. The culture of Raffles basketball is one of togetherness.
I’ve spent almost every Friday night after training eating dinner together with my teammates, and we study together before training and during the off-season.
Basketball training sessions and conditioning have helped me improve my game, individual skills and fitness.
Ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Raffles.
Griffles: Sounds like you had a very positive experience for the past two years.
Any challenges or difficulties you faced during your time at Raffles especially as a student who came in via DSA?
I would say the biggest challenge I faced was coping with the demand of academics. Academics wise, thankfully I could always rely on my classmates and teammates because they were all kind and helpful.
Despite being a DSA student, I never felt any prejudice or judgement coming from those around me. Instead, they accepted me for who I was and answered any questions that I had in class.
Despite not having anyone from my secondary school with me during the January Induction Program, I was able to befriend my assigned RP buddy and subsequently my batchmates, so it was easy to integrate into the school community. Overall, I would say that my time at Raffles was rather smooth sailing.
Griffles: The people are the ones who make a difference to the journey and you were very fortunate to have such good teammates. Your team had a memorable run during the National Schools Competition in 2019 despite not being the favourites and facing challenges right before season began.
Could you share with us about the season and how it unfolded?
Before registering for the A Division Competition, our team was lacking in numbers (we had less than 10 players and this meant that we could not register for NSG!), and thus it was uncertain whether we would be able to compete, let alone perform in the tournament. However, we managed to recruit enough players to register and the team just kept our focus on training for A Div. During the season, we did not try to look too far ahead but prepared for one team at a time and gave our best during training and matches.
Regardless of our performance in each game, we remained focused and played as best as we could. We learned from our past mistakes and improved ourselves, and never gave up on the next game even if we lost the previous one. Step by step, with constant encouragement and guidance from our teachers, coaches, seniors and teammates, we managed to pull through and succeeded! :)
Griffles: The girls really showed great mental strength and perseverance to bounce back from our defeats to make the Semi-finals and ultimately the Finals with the help of our coaches and teachers.
During the season, was there any game in particular that stood out for you?
Kang Yi: The game that stood out to me the most was the Quarterfinals match up against Nanyang Junior College. They were the hot favourites of the tournament, with a team that could score anywhere from deep in the paint to deep 3 zone. We managed to keep that game very close and even dragged the game to overtime. In the end, we lost narrowly and personally, it was the toughest loss for me.
Our team was not fancied by many but we fought especially hard for that match and did our best to contain them while trying to remain strong offensively.
Even though we lost that match, our team were encouraged to see that we still had a good chance since we were the only team up to that stage to be able to put up a fight against the strongest team in the competition. We learnt a lot from that match and were able to better prepare ourselves for the next match up against them in the semi-finals, with the help of our coaches and teachers.
Griffles: The Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” was recently aired and it seems like you had your own fairytale ending as you put in your best performance in the finals –
25pts, 13rebounds, 4 blocks and 4 assists!
You are one of the rare few to have won MVP awards for both B Div and A Div Finals. Not only that, it was extra fufilling to see that your teammates all improved and played their best games during the semis and finals.
As captain of the team, could you give us an insight into how you led the team and what you said to the girls before the game?
Kang Yi: Honestly, I did not think too much about how I should lead the team. Instead, I just tried my best to encourage and guide my teammates on court and continue to play just as I normally do. As the captain, I had to be more vocal on court and would speak up about any issues I felt were urgent. As a player, I believed that serving our role in the team is crucial to how the team fares as a whole, so I did what the team needed me to do for them.
Before the big game of the Finals, I would be lying to say that I was not nervous, but I had to keep it in so that my teammates would not panic as well. I cannot exactly remember what I said before the game but I probably told them what I usually say before games: Do good Defense, Communicate and Focus on fulfilling their Roles on the team.
Griffles: Thank you so much for taking time out to share with us this memorable part of your journey with us at Raffles. All the best for your next phase of life as you enter university and hopefully go on to represent our country one day!
As we are in the midst of the DSA application period again, here’s hoping that we can unearth more of such talented players like you to join our team and contribute to future successes on the court!