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'Cool Kiz on the Block' turns volleyball into eye-candy sport

All News 16:26 March 02, 2016

By Park Sojung

SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) -- "Cool Kiz on the Block," a KBS 2TV reality show, has elevated volleyball to a new height -- aesthetically.

Eight male celebrities have been recruited for Team Cool Kiz, and they include actors Oh Man-seok, Jo Dong-hyuk, Lee Jae-yoon and Japanese model Ryohei Otani.

Two of them -- Otani and rookie actor Hak Jin -- are former volleyball pros. Otani started volleyball in fourth grade and played for a professional team in Osaka, Japan, until college. Hak Jin has much the same history, having played professionally for 10 years until a knee injury forced him to quit.

Hand-picked by a former volleyball star, Kim Se-jin, they represent the best and the brightest volleyball players in Korean entertainment, producer Kim Hae-ryong said Wednesday.

Members of the "Cool Kiz on the Block" volleyball team. (Photo courtesy of KBS) (Yonhap)

"Besides Hak Jin and Ryohei, none of the team members have learned volleyball formally," he told reporters at KBS Sports World in Seoul. "It's a difficult sport for amateurs.... But I was blown away by their stamina after two matches."

Kim said Comedian Kang Ho-dong, a Cool Kiz fixture of three years and former pro-wrestler, still has "athletic talent" despite what his heavy physique might suggest.

Singer Jota will vie for a second Cool Kiz title after killing the men's 73 kg judo competition on the same program in December.

Kangnam, a Korean-Japanese member of the South Korean hip-hop group M.I.B., was brimming with confidence at the news conference, pointing to his intramural beach volleyball experience in Hawaii.

"I'm better (at volleyball) than you'd think," he said, adding he may be No. 1 or 2 after Hak Jin and Otani. "You can't play well if you're not confident."

"Cool Kiz on the Block" airs on Tuesday at 11:10 p.m., South Korean time.


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