Jin is also the fastest 100m and 200m sprinter in the SD 57.
With a spot on the BC team — he’s No. 2 in the province — heading to national karate later this summer, you’d think that’s enough for a young Prince George athlete to focus on but no, Jinichi Cronje at Zone 8 BC Summer So does the Athletic U14 (5v5) basketball team.
Jin is also the fastest 100m and 200m sprinter in the SD 57, is a member of the Prince George Athletics Club, won the Athlete of the Year award last season and has just returned as part of the Circle Line, considered an undefeated provincial club stream Champion he cross-country skiing, took 12th Entering the provincial competition this winter.
Of all these sports, basketball is his favorite, but he says he’s better at karate.
Jin started playing basketball in 2020 and joined Northern Bounce Academy’s competitive traveling team in 2022. Just last month, they went home as U13 champions at the 2022 Calgary Genesis Championship.
“I wasn’t great at basketball in fifth grade, I joined Bounce Academy in sixth grade, and now a year later I’ve improved a lot and I’m on the team,” Kim said. “I love driving to the basket and doing layups. I love watching basketball — it’s the best, and I love playing aerial basketball around the house,” King said.
“Because you never miss when you’re playing aerial basketball,” Jin’s mom, Nat, chimes in with a laugh.
Most of the time, Jin plays at small forward or power forward on an actual BC Summer Games team consisting of 10 players and two backups. The BC Summer Games will be held in Prince George from July 21-24.
“I’m really excited to be on this team,” Kim said. “I was a little scared that I wouldn’t make it because I was the only 7th grader on the team. Everyone else was in 8th grade.”
Kim was injured a few months ago.He injured his iliotibial band (commonly called IT Band), which can cause pain on the outside of the knee. After a few weeks, he said he was fully recovered and strong by April.
He added that representing Prince George at the BC Summer Olympics is very important to King.
All the sports he plays have made him better at everything including basketball.
“Crossing the train is good for him,” Mama Nut said. “In the winter, he skis, and then when he goes to the track, those skills are transferable, as are karate and track, because he works the fast-twitch muscles.”
She added that many coaches support Jin in multisport.
“I think having all the transferable skills in all of these different sports is a huge advantage for him,” said Mama Nut.
But when it came time to get into high school, the focus had to be narrowed, Mom said.
“Oh, no,” he said, shaking his head. “I only do three things in the summer, which is a lot on my schedule, but it’s really hard to narrow it down. Honestly, I think in high school I’m going to have to stick with school basketball and maybe even give up playing outside of school. , although I do like Bounce (Academy) the most and I also like karate and I’m good at karate and sprinting is the best because I can hang out with my friends and do a lot of things and it’s really fun. But if I have to choose one not to do it’s track and field or basketball, then I’ll probably stick with karate. But I don’t want to give up either of them.”
Mom Nat smiles as Jin grapples with it all. The athletic youngster faces some tough decisions.
“I don’t think there are enough hours in the day because the older you get, the more commitment you should make, especially when it’s a team sport,” explains mum Nat. “I think it’s going to peak in the next 12 months because he has to slim down.”
As practice continues for the BC Summer Games U14 (5-on-5) team, mum Nat said the team really came together. Many of the boys knew each other at school and at Bounce Academy, and under Coach Novak’s tutelage, she saw how they quickly became a force on the field.
“For me, it’s great to see them – they’re growing up with each other,” says mum Nat. “Coach Nick Novak is a big part of that.”
King would like to thank all of his coaches, including Warren, Chantel Grafton and Jordan Foy of the Nechaco Karate Club, for getting him to compete at the provincial and national levels.
In basketball, Jin thanks BC Summer Games coach Nick Novak and Northern Bounce Academy’s Jordan Yu and Sam Zhang for helping him get better.
For the track, Jin would like to thank coaches Lauren Matheson and Jordan Bax for giving Jin a lot of advice and tips for making him a better sprinter.
A big thanks also goes to The Brink Group for their sponsorship of the karate athletes and those who make up the BC team selection.
“I also want to thank my parents — my mom — for everything they did,” Kim said.