“It’s a chance to step up”
Anyang KGC Ginseng topped the 2022-2023 regular season, won the 2023 EASL Champions Week, and won the 2022-2023 playoffs. They made the treble. They were a dominant force throughout the season.
They had a strong domestic core of Byun Jun-hyung (185 cm, G), Moon Sung-gon (195 cm, F), and Oh Se-geun (200 cm, C). The combination of foreign players Omari Spellman (203 cm, F) and Darryl Monroe (196 cm, F) also contributed to KGC’s victory.
However, without the strength of their backup resources, KGC Ginseng would not have been able to do so. Park Ji-hoon (184 cm, G) is a representative of the backup resources that gave KGC Ginseng the strength. He relieved Byun Joon-hyung’s burden by carrying the ball, controlling the tempo, and attacking from the perimeter. As a result, the team experienced its first championship.
After winning the championship, Park suffered a double whammy on March 26. He was included in the 16-man roster for the Korean National Men’s Basketball Team’s reinforcement training announced by the Korea Basketball Association. It was the first time in his career that Park, who wore the Taeguk mark at the World Championships and the Universiade, was included in the national team’s training roster.
Park is currently on his honeymoon with his wife. Although he is healing, he hasn’t neglected to take care of his body. Park Ji-hoon and his wife were on the same page: “I need to heal, but I also need to take care of my body”.
So when the reporter spoke to Park, he was in the middle of a weight training session. “I feel so good,” he told us over the phone. I’m still on the training roster, but it’s a moment I’ve always dreamed of,” Park said of his inclusion on the national team roster.
The guard trains at the same place as Kim Sun-hyung (Seoul SK), Heo Hoon (Armed Forces Athletic Corps) and Lee Jung-hyun (Day One Sports). There’s also Choi Jun-yong (Jeonju KCC) and Lee Woo-seok (Ulsan Hyundai Mobis), who can handle the ball, and Byun Jun-hyung (Armed Forces Athletic Corps), who is on the 24-man roster.
“There are a lot of players who are better than me,” Park said. So (when I heard about my inclusion in the roster), I thought, ‘Am I in?’ (Laughs) But since I’m on the training roster, I have to do the best I can and show what I can do,” Park said, adding that he is determined.
“I don’t know what coach Chu Il-seung and coach Lee Hoon-jae saw as my strengths, but I think I play with a lot of fight and fast breaks, and I can synergize with different players, and I think my defense is not bad. I think the coaching staff has looked at a lot of different things (laughs),” he says, adding to his strengths that will appeal to the national team.
However, as mentioned above, the 16-man training roster is not the final list. Park needs to make the 12-man roster to be eligible for the Paris Olympic Trials and the Hangzhou Asian Games. To do so, he’ll have to beat out several other athletes.
“I can’t make the 12-man roster with the performance I showed in the season,” says Park. We have to show what we can do that the other players don’t have. You also have to perform differently from other players. Above all, you have to be better among the good players (laughs),” he says, explaining how to survive.
Finally, he said, “The best players from my country have been selected. I think I can learn a lot from them. I think it will be a good experience for me, and I will be able to study a lot on my own. Also, there is a big difference between being on the national team and not being on the national team. I see this as a step up,” he said of the significance of being on the roster.스포츠토토
In any field, competition between great people or experience on the big stage makes you mature. The same is true for professional sports. Players who have experienced international competition or trained with the national team are at the next level. Not only do they quickly grasp their tasks, but they also have the confidence of having experienced the high level. Park recognized this as well. That’s why he saw the national team training as a great opportunity.