Basketball
in North
Korea

Some illustrations from a novel on hoops in the DPRK

A South Korean basketball delegation is in Pyongyang today to play four matches with their North Korean counterparts over the coming days. See here for NK News full coverage of the inter-Korean games.

Following the former NBA-star Dennis Rodman’s visits to North Korea, it probably isn’t news to many that basketball is played in the country. The sport is widely played, although not as popular as football, volleyball, or table-tennis, and one can sometimes see outdoor courts in school playgrounds, set up in the parking lots of work units, and around army barracks.

Today we bring you some illustrations from the North Korean novel A Basketball Coach (Literature Arts Press, 2006) based on coach Ri Ki Gon, who coached the DPRK women’s basketball team in the 1990’s. Ri’s coaching taught essentially that ‘tall ain’t all’ when it comes to basketball and led the women’s team to its modern against foreign national teams (Korean basketball teams had defeated foreign teams, including in Pyongyang, in the 1930’s – more on this later).

See below for the book's basketball-related illustrations.

The Cover

Opening Page

Playing Basketball in Mangyongdae District

The Youth Playing Basketball

Good luck to all the players, northern and southern, in this weeks inter-Korean basketball games!

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