Interview by Les Tan/Red Sports
Lim Sheng Yu, a centre of the Hwa Chong Institution basketball team, is one of three players selected for the adidas Nations basketball camp in Shanghai from May 18 to 24. He will train with some of the best basketball talent in Asia and get to meet coaches and players from the American National Basketball Association. Red Sports caught up with him to find out more about him.
Red Sports: Tell me about yourself.
Sheng Yu: I started playing street basketball when I was in primary 5 with the naive thought of being able to grow taller. I only started playing competitively in Secondary 4 when I was at Bukit Panjang Governmentt High. I had a knee injury in lower sec so I couldn’t play then. Currently, I’m in JC2 and I represent Hwa Chong Institution and the National U-18 team.
How do you feel about being selected for the camp?
I’m very surprised and honoured. I look forward to the camp very much as I can get exposed to a much higher level of basketball. It is a perfect opportunity to gain international experience and to brush up my skills, even pick up new ones.
Did you expect to be chosen?
Absulutely no. I’m too short to play center and too slow to play forward by international standards, so i thought local centers will never be chosen.
How is it like playing with the national U18 team?
It is indeed a very enriching and memorable experience training and playing with the U18. My coach, Mr Neo, is very passionate, experienced and wise. I’ve learnt a lot from him. My team was united and selfless, with common goals of defeating team adidas and qualifying for FIBA Asia.
How did you find the selection match between the national U18 team and adidas team?
It was a tough and intense matchup as both teams were very strong. I felt really nervous and didn’t perform up to standard. Moreover, I was still recovering from a sprained ankle then. Nonetheless, I’m grateful and glad that we won the match.
How are you preparing for the trip?
On top of the six trainings per week, I’ve been working on my physical strength and individual skills like shooting and footwork.
What are your aspirations for the trip?
I want to do my country proud. Also, I want to improve by learning from the other elite players and coaches.
How are you coping with your schoolwork?
Sadly and unfortunately, I’m not keeping up very well in school. Due to the A Division Championship and the South East Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) games recently, I’ve been missing many lessons. But I’m trying to rectify that by allocating my time better. I’ll need to buck up as I’m taking my A levels this year.
Any advice for aspiring young players?
Attitude is the small thing that makes a big difference. Be humble and train real hard. Efforts do pay off (sometimes)!