While it is not uncommon for athletes to pursue more than one sport, it is unusual for one to become professional at two at once. Nguyen Van Hung is an exception to the rule, having mastered both taekwondo and basketball. Hung, 36, was Southeast Asia’s invincible taekwondo champion for nearly a decade before taking up basketball. With his new sport, Hung played for Saigon Heat, Vietnam’s first professional basketball team, and quickly won the trust of head coach Anthony Garbelotto. While Saigon Heat is full of foreign players, Hung was the only Vietnamese to be on the floor when the club beat Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Truth in the ASEAN Basketball League in Ho Chi Minh City last week. Hung has so far played the most minutes of any of his Vietnamese teammates, a feat for the veteran player, given the fact that he only took up basketball after a successful taekwondo career. A sudden love Between 1999 and 2007, Hung was unbeatable in the men’s 80kg taekwondo category in Southeast Asia, winning five gold medals at five separate SEA Games, the region’s biggest sporting event, and secured Olympic selection during this period. However taekwondo was not the first sport Hung took… Read full this story
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