When Soo Eng Heng (pic) is not sweating it out on the basketball court, chances are you can find him at the Klang Utara police headquarters.
The 33-year-old is an investigation officer with the rank of sergeant at the traffic police division there.
That, he said, is his dream job.
Now, he’s after another dream: help the Malaysian basketball team to the gold medal at next month’s KL SEA Games.
“It’s actually a dream of mine to join the police. I also wanted to have more options in my life,” said Eng Heng, who joined the force in 2012.
“Most players who quit the game usually end up as either a coach or selling sports equipment. I wanted something more meaningful once my playing days are over.
“It’s been really tough trying to balance work and training, especially since I’m usually on duty for long hours.
“I rarely get enough sleep most of the time and am exhausted by the time I attend training.
“Although I’m physically drained, the desire to achieve success at the SEA Games has kept me going.”
Eng Heng, who is set to compete in his fourth – and possibly last – Games, knows it would need a Herculean effort to seize the gold medal in front of the home fans.
That is because Malaysia have defending champions the Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar for company in Group A.
“It’s definitely tough when you have to face both the Philippines and Thailand in the group stages,” said Eng Heng, who won a bronze at the 2003 Hanoi Games.
“We have a chance as we play with confidence and fight hard on court.
“I’ll also have to play my role as the team veteran. I usually play every game like it’s my last. Hopefully, that will get the younger guys to work harder than me.”
No wonder Eng Heng is a valuable member of the team as far as head coach Goh Cheng Huat is concerned.
Eng Heng, who can play either as a point guard or shooting guard, is expected to provide suitable cover for starting guard Teo Kok Hou.
The other members of the 12-member roster include Chee Li Wei, Loh Shee Fai, Wong Yi Hou, Ting Chun Hong, Ivan Yeo, Kuek Tian Yuan, Chan Kek Thai, Ma Chee Kheun, Wong Chin Yong and Perry Lim.
The team are on two-week playing tour of New Zealand and will return home on July 31.