About Bintang Badminton
Bintang Badminton Academy (BBA) started in December of 2001 with only a handful of students and one crazily devoted coach. For a while, the students trained on the small warehouse's cement floors, with the two badminton courts' lines masked out with tape. Gradually, the academy grew to three courts; indoor sports flooring was installed (by the coach and the students); the walls were painted a cheerful lavender blue color. And since, many new badminton enthusiasts have been born.
In January of 2004, the academy moved to a larger warehouse that could fit eleven courts. Once again, the coach, his students, family, and friends all came together to help build the gym. After three months of hard work, the light blue star was finally painted onto the wall and the gym opened its doors to badminton fanatics from all over. In the three years since the badminton academy's birth, the number of kids and adults learning and playing badminton has grown tremendously.
Through the badminton academy, many people who have never played badminton before have developed a passion for the sport; many people who have played before but were never serious have developed a competitive spirit. All in all, BBA has promoted the sport of badminton greatly within the community and hopes to continue doing so.
Phu Khuu - Co-Founder and Coach
The head coach of Bintang Badminton Academy is Coach Phu Khuu. Coach Phu has played badminton for over fifteen years and has coached the sport for over 20 years. He started playing badminton when he was a freshman in high school (Mission San Jose High) and since has learned from a handful of well-known coaches and players in the Bay Area. Back when he first fell in love with the sport, there were no training centers, no dedicated badminton facilities, not even people who coached on a full-time basis. So Coach Phu resorted to training himself - hitting against the garage wall for hours on end, conditioning, practicing footwork - and going to all the open gyms in the area.
In the summer of 1998, Coach Phu was fortunate enough to participate in an athlete-coaching program in Indonesia where he trained with Indonesian badminton athletes under the intense yet skillful coaches. While training in Indonesia, Coach Phu realized the intensity of this sport in third-world countries.
They would train for four hours in the morning and then condition for four hours in the late afternoon. What struck him was during one training session, a player had twisted his ankle and the Coach said only this: "Get up or get out." Though the training was tough (being that Phu was not trained to do this from an early age), he came back in one piece and brought back with him a whole new perspective on training.
After returning from Indonesia, Coach Phu has focused his time and energy on training students to become true badminton athletes. He has coached two high schools, Mission San Jose High School and Saratoga High School, both of which he turned into league champions. Coach Phu had revamped the Mission San Jose badminton program and, in the process, ended Newark Memorial High School's 13 year winning streak. In 2001, Coach Phu decided to turn the tables around in the Santa Clara Valley League. He signed on as head coach of Saratoga High School, which at that time was ranked near the mid-bottom of the league. Within three years, the school's badminton team rose to the top, defeating Palo Alto High's reign in the badminton scene. All of the high school students who were fortunate enough to be coached by Coach Phu leave high school remembering how fun and exciting badminton can be and is.
In 2001, Coach Phu started Bintang Badminton Academy, so he could have a permanent training center for his students. A handful of Coach Phu's students have won league and state high school championships; many have placed in the U.S. Junior National Tournaments; yet others have slowly climbed the ladder in local badminton tournaments.
What sets Coach Phu apart from other coaches is his ability to motivate and inspire students. Coach Phu is a very devoted and motivated coach, one whose love for the sport of badminton shines through in every aspect. His undying energy for the sport and for his students has helped promote Bay Area badminton to new heights.
Stella Khuu - Co-Founder and Administrator
Co-founder of Bintang Badminton Academy, Stella is currently a software engineer, just like most of the open gym players and members here. She grew up in Fremont, where she attended MSJHS and graduated as valedictorian. Stella thereafter received her Bachelor's degree in computer science at Stanford University in 2003. Stella's love for badminton started in high school where she was number one on the high school varsity team. Unfortunately, her studies at Stanford kept her very busy and away from the badminton courts, but she picked it back up right after graduating and continues to play and compete for fun. When Phu, her then boyfriend and now husband, raised the idea of starting a dedicated badminton facility, she was hesitant at first, but then gave her full support and dedication. Since the academy's inception, the husband and wife team have worked hard to grow the sport.