Sunday, June 4, 2023 | 19:24 WIB

Denny Sumargo: “Arrogant basketball player”


IO – The actor Denny Sumargo has a YouTube channel in which one of the shows has him playing basketball. “There I refer to myself as an ‘arrogant basketball player’,” he said with a laugh. 

The former national basketball player claimed he had never watched a national basketball game directly. “This content is a form of support for me to popularize Indonesian basketball,” he said. On the YouTube channel, Denny invited national players such as Andakara Prastawa Dhyaksa and Xaverius Prawiro to compete with him in a game full of pranks. 

“There are quite a lot of viewers,” he said. Denny also has other comedy content on his YouTube channel. 

Denny was raised up by basketball, but basketball was not his first sport. “My first sport was karate. At the end, I have earned a karate blue belt,” he said. Denny’s potential in karate was actually quite great. He was prepared to take part in the championship with coach Arif Taufan Syamsuddin, the 1998 Asian Games gold medalist. 

Unfortunately, then he defected to another branch, football. “Maybe because I was still a teenager, I liked to try many things. I like football too, “he said. In football, young Denny also marked achievements. He was included in the Makassar Football Association (PSM) Junior squad. “I was once a top scorer at PSM Jr.,” he recalled. 

His life changed when he entered high school. He began to acknowledge the attraction of basketball. “At that time I could not play basketball at all, but the determination to be able to play was very strong.” 

He then trained hard, including joining the Makassar Viking club. “I joined the Vikings but also trained with the Flying Wheel and Sahabat club.” 

His great talent was noted; Denny was chosen to join the North Sulawesi team at the 2000 National Sports Week (PON) Surabaya. His talent caught the attention of Aspac’s club owner Irawan Haryono, who then offered Denny a place. However, in a match, Irawan saw Denny at odds with his coach. Irawan disliked this, and he cut off all contacts with Denny, who did not understand that the Aspac boss was no longer interested in him. 

Returning to Makassar, Denny then completed and passed the high school exam. “I want to continue my studies but my family could not afford it. I then remembered Pak Irawan’s promise; I went to Jakarta,” said Denny.

When he arrived in Jakarta, Denny found out that Irawan was not pleased with his behavior at odds with the coach on the field. “I pleaded guilty and ask to be given the opportunity for three months at Aspac.” Luckily, Pak Irawan was willing to give him another chance. 

Denny worked hard to improve his ability. He often added to his own training outside Aspac club training hours. 

This was observed by Aspac’s coach at the time, Tjetjep Firmansyah. “Coach Tjetjep asked what my goals in basketball were. I said that I want to be the best. He asked again how I would do it? “I answered it was the responsibility of the coach; I just have to obey,” said Denny. 

Denny proved himself by always working hard and obeying Tjetjep’s orders during training, until the first chance to play in competition arrived. “I played well when I played for the first time and it added to the confidence of coach Tjetjep to play me back in the following matches.” 

Denny’s career continued to be brilliant. He was chosen as the best rookie of 2001 and at the same time won the title with Aspac. That year also was the first time he was selected to be included in the Indonesian men’s basketball national team. 

Denny regained the title with Aspac in 2002 and 2003 before moving to the Satria Muda club. 

After taking a year off due to injury and undergoing surgery and recovery in the Philippines, Denny also took Satria Muda to win the Indonesian Basketball League in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 he moved to Garuda Bandung and a year later decided to retire and pursue a career in the entertainment world. 

Now Denny has made his name as a movie star, host and presenter. “Actually, my passion is not in the world of entertainment. I just want to continue learning at every opportunity,” said Denny, who also ventured into business in the online culinary world. (rp) 


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