Q & A With Senior Guard Kelvin Kim


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Kelvin Kim
Kelvin Kim
Courtesy: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
After defeating Humboldt State and Sonoma State to open CCAA play December 5-6, the UC San Diego men’s basketball team heads to Las Vegas this weekend to compete in the CCAA-PacWest Shootout having won of three of their last four. As one of seven seniors on the roster, sharp shooter Kelvin Kim has had an impressive start to the season, averaging 9.5 points and a team-high 3.3 assists through six games. One of the best shooters the program has ever seen, the Lake Forest, Calif. native has drained 108 three-pointers during his career at UCSD and needs just 16 to move into second place on the Division II career list. In between final exams and preparing for this weekend’s opponents, Kim took time to answer a few questions for UCSDtritons.com.  

Q: The team put together an impressive run at the end of last season to win the program’s first CCAA Tournament Championship. What was that experience like?
KIM: The experience was bittersweet. The sweet part was finally getting a taste of postseason play and getting to travel to such a weird place like Alaska. At the same time, the feeling I had with how the game unraveled is something that I never want to go through again, but is something that I don't want to forget either.

Q: What are your expectations for this year’s squad and what does the team need to do to get back to that level?
KIM: I have very high goals for this team. Obviously, winning the CCAA is one of our first goals, especially since it ensures that we will be given a high seed in the NCAA Regionals. And then from there, trying to go as deep into the playoffs as we can.

Q: Entering your senior year, what are your goals for this season, individually?
KIM: My goal for the season is to be in the moment in whatever I do. Whatever I am doing I’m going to try to be conscious of putting everything I can into it. I don’t want to let outside distractions stop me down from being as productive as possible.

Q: Talk a little bit about coach Chris Carlson. How has he put his stamp on the program?
KIM: I know that Coach Carlson has already made a big impact on the program.  One of the first things I noticed about Coach was how positive he is. If an outsider listened to one his speeches after a loss they might not be able to tell if we won or lost because of his optimistic mind set, even though inside, we all know that winning means so much to him. Coach has also instilled a sense of professionalism and knowledge in the program's system of what it takes to succeed at the highest levels of college basketball. I've noticed a lot of the strategies and preparations that were carried out at UCLA being run in our system.

Q: Speaking of UCLA, you knew Coach Carlson from your time there. What was your reaction when you heard he was named the head coach at UCSD? Is he the same guy now that he was back then?
KIM: I was very excited to hear that Coach Carlson was coming to UCSD both for myself and for him. I was looking forward to playing for someone that I had an immense respect for both as a coach and as a person, and someone I had a lot of gratitude towards for helping me transfer to UCSD. He was the one who made calls to other coaches all around the country on my behalf when I was looking to transfer and now that we are both here, it couldn't have worked out any better.  I have to watch what I say for the second part of this question... No, Coach is the same person now that I remembered back at UCLA. He is always cracking jokes and still makes sure his players are taking care of business on and off the court.

Q: What you do to prepare for a game? Do you have any superstitions or pregame rituals?
KIM: I pray before and during games. I like to remember who I’m playing for and remind myself to thank God for every chance I get to step out on the court.
Q: What would you say is your biggest strength as a player? What is your biggest weakness?
KIM: I think my biggest strength as a player is picking up little ways to outsmart my opponent. I’ve had to find ways to make up for my height and not being very athletic my whole life. My greatest weakness is my height and non-athleticism.  One of my dreams is to be Casey Ryan for a game.

Q: You are a psychology major in Warren College. Is that a field you’d like to pursue after graduation? Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
KIM: Thinking back on when I decided to major in psychology as a na´ve little freshman, I really had no idea why I picked it other than the fact psychology was interesting. By my junior year I still had no clue as to what I wanted to do with my life, so I just stuck with it and by that time it was too late to change. Now I want to go to med school and that’s where I plan to be within the next five years... and hopefully be out sometime within the next ten.   

Q: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I got interested in painting after my roommate, Tyler, took an art class where he was required to do some paintings. We have had great times critiquing each other’s work and discussing art in general. I’m laughing as I write this because thinking back on it, we had no idea what we were talking about.

Q: Who has been your greatest role model and why?
KIM: My parents are my biggest role models. I can’t begin to understand the sacrifices they have made for my brother and I, and their love for us was always unconditional.   
Q: Describe yourself in three words.
Fifty-six O’ Four

Q: How do you want to be remembered at UCSD?
KIM: I want to be remembered at UCSD for surpassing Coach Allard on at least one of his all-time career records. Or, I’d settle for replacing one of his three second-place marks.

Previous Q & A Articles

Michelle Osier (Women's Basketball) December 5, 2008  
Sylvia Schmidt (Women's Volleyball) November 7, 2008 
Denny Harper (Men’s Water Polo Head Coach) October 17, 2008
Ron Larsen (USA Volleyball Assistant Coach) October 13, 2008 

Jessica McGovern (Women's Soccer) October 6, 2008

Bre Schofield (Cross Country) September 26, 2008

Tony Fernandez (Men's Soccer) September 18,2008

Kimberly Carpenter (Women's Volleyball) September 12, 2008

A.J. Kotanjian (Men’s Water Polo) September 2, 2008

Peter Akman (Men's Soccer) August 21, 2008

Natasha Belak-Berger (Women's Soccer) August 15, 2008

Jake LaVieux (Men's Cross Country) August 8, 2008

Dr. Penny Rue (Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs) July 30, 2008

Michelle Torres (Women's Volleyball) July 15, 2008

Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer Head Coach) July 1, 2008

Julie Ertel (Athletics) June 16, 2008

Clint Allard (Men's Basketball) June 9, 2008

Jen Myers (Women's Crew) May 27, 2008

Casey Ryan (Men's Track and Field and Men's Basketball) May 21, 2008

Keith Noe (Baseball) May 13, 2008

Liz LaPlante (Women's Tennis Head Coach) April 30, 2008

Sydney Gstettenbauer (Women's Water Polo) April 22, 2008

Sarah Hendy (Women's Track and Field) April 17, 2008

Eric Leserman (Men's Volleyball) April 9, 2008

Danielle Lukk (Softball) April 4, 2008

Chris Franco (Baseball) March 24, 2008

Dan Perdew (Swimming) March 18, 2008

Evan Hsiao (Swimming) March 9, 2008

Eric Rubens (Men's Tennis) February 27, 2008

Melissa Ward (Softball) February 20, 2008

Cameron Sprowles (Fencing) February 13, 2008

Kim Hockett (Women's Water Polo) February 6, 2008

Trevor Decker (Baseball) January 31, 2008

Jordan Lawley (Men's Basketball) January 23, 2008

Jason Spangler (Men's Volleyball) January 5, 2008

Andrew Skewes (Men's Diving) December 26, 2007

Alexis Gaskin (Women's Basketball) December 17, 2007

Aubrey Panis (Women's Swimming) December 2, 2007

Andrew Hatch (Men's Basketball) November 26, 2007

Kevin Klein (Men's Cross Country) November 12, 2007

Kim Adams (Women's Volleyball) November 7, 2007

Ben Miller (Men's Water Polo) October 31, 2007

Alie Avina (Women's Soccer) October 19, 2007

Charity Elliott (Women's Basketball Head Coach) October 15, 2007