‘The year that could have been the best draft ever’ This is the evaluation after the 2001 KBL rookie draft. Of course, there were several players with exceptional talent in the draft at the time. Quantitatively, it leaves a little to be desired, but in the so-called ‘Big 3’, the weight is clearly felt.
Young-Jin Song (44‧198cm), a “Man of Trust” who made a name for himself as a member of the invincible Chung-Ang University’s “Twin Towers,” along with Joo-Sung Kim; ‘Magic Hand’ Kim Seung-hyeon (44‧175cm), who earned a reputation for being the best, and was evaluated as being able to rank first overall depending on the team… , all three were undoubtedly big fish that could make a big difference to a team’s strength.
Despite his tall stature, Song Young-jin was selected as the best power forward in college for his excellent athleticism and mobility as well as excellent shooting skills. At that time, Chung-Ang University had many outstanding players such as Lim Jae-hyeon, Hwang Jin-won, Shin Dong-han, and Jo Woo-hyeon, but the background that they were able to sweep the university stage overwhelmingly was due to the influence of Kim Joo-seong and Song Young-jin, who were holding on under the goal.
Kim Yu-taek, who was called ‘double mast’ with Han Ki-bum during the heyday of Chung-Ang University, said at the time of the interview with ‘Basketball Interview’, “When I was with Han Ki-beom, I got along well and there was a lot of synergy. I was confident that if I came near the post anyway, I would block them all.”
I heard a similar story from Song Young-jin, a junior who succeeded them. “At the time, among the various forward defense strategies, there was also a way to drive the opponent into the post. It’s because you can take a picture the moment you want to enter. Juseong and I both were quick and had good elasticity, so I remember not allowing breakthroughs or under-the-goal attacks. Leaving his position and facing a lot of players, he was not behind in speed, and he poured block shots at opponents who were floating in the air.”
As expected by many, the overall honor at the time went to Song Young-jin. Jeon Hyung-soo and Kim Seung-hyun were also worthy players to aim for the first place, but basketball is still a high fight. I don’t know if there is a difference in the level itself, but when a special big man and a special guard come out, there are many clubs that prefer the big man. Such was the situation at the time. As Samsung picked Lee Kyu-seop in the previous season and his height was reinforced and he even won the championship, interest in the starting big man increased even more.
Regarding the ranking of nominations after that, there were many expectations that they would go in the order of Kim Seung-hyun and Hyung-soo Jeon. He was a good enough player to play the role of No. 1 as well as the role of Ace in No. 2, but Kim Seung-Hyun was in a situation where he was making his mark as a special existence among basketball players. In terms of stability, there was also an opinion that Hyung-soo looked better, but there were high expectations for Kim Seung-hyun at the high point, like the saying, ‘If it explodes, it’s a jackpot.’
As a result, Gold Bank designated Jeonhyeongsu as the second priority. Many fans were surprised at the unexpected choice, but even Daegu Dongyang Orions coach Kim Jin, who had the third pick, said he was dumbfounded. Regarding the situation at the time, former director Kim said, “I was personally coveted enough to want to nominate Kim Seung-hyun even if the first place came out, and honestly, the moment I received the third place nomination, I didn’t expect it at all. Because it seemed like we couldn’t come until our turn. In such a situation, I was so happy that Gold Bank skipped Kim Seung-hyun. It was a miracle,” he said.
‘War with weight’ Song Young-jin, a talent that was buried under 10 kg,
LG, who took Song Young-jin as the first priority, emerged as a candidate for the championship at once. That’s also because the addition of a native big man in the previous season meant that they had become a complete team in a situation where they drew attention as the best attacking team in the league through outside shots and fast basketball in the previous season. The point guard position was also disappointing, but the team itself covered a large part through tactics, and above all, the height of the front line itself could not be ignored if the ace Cho Sung-won was short, so if he used the normal number 1, the height of the front line itself would be too low.
As a result, director Kim Tae-hwan at the time misused the jewel named Song Young-jin. Was it because he was envious of the native big man of the other team who played a heavy role under the goal? Coach Kim wanted to use Song Young-jin as a power player who could fight with foreign players. However, as many media outlets expressed concerns, this was close to a gamble with a low chance of success.
The most problematic of all was the process. As she herself admits, Song Young-jin is said to have a constitution that does not stick well to her body. She is also a person who needs time to adapt to something. However, her team unconditionally tried to make her body grow and power up. Surprisingly, the method chosen as number 1 in such a process was ‘eat a lot and gain weight’. From today’s point of view, it’s even absurd.
Song Young-jin also said about that time, “The first mission was to just eat and eat and eat and gain weight first. Late night snacks are the basics, and I ate six meals a day. Even while working out, I ate in between. Eating was not enjoyable at all, and the repetition of such situations made me feel unbearably stressed.” 메이저사이트
During college, Song Young-jin’s competitiveness was his excellent motor nerves and mobility compared to his height. Just because he was so tall and agile around the court, his opponents couldn’t help but struggle in the offense and defense. LG made the wrong choice by stripping the armor and taking away even the sword from a player with such great strengths. As he blindly focused on gaining weight, the balance of his body was broken and he was unable to utilize his original strengths.
I gained more than 10kg, but literally only the weight increased while other parts remained the same. What is more incomprehensible is that director Kim was Song Young-jin’s teacher during college. Although he had personally used Song Young-jin before and was well aware of his strengths and weaknesses, he shook hands close to defeat and broke the wings of a player who could have become the club’s next franchise star.
Of course, if Song Young-jin stayed in a bad state and ended his career as a mediocre player, there would have been a lot of intellectual voices about him as well as the club and coach Kim. Fortunately, Song Young-jin succeeded in rebounding. Being sent to KT as a reward player was close to humiliation for a player from the 1st place, but at the end of the day, he is reborn as an indispensable key player in the team.
Directors Il-Seung Choo and Chang-Jin Jeon, who had worked with him at KT, did not try to change Young-Jin Song significantly. She knew from her college days that she had strengths in off-the-ball movement and defense, so she tried to make use of her good play. As a result, Song Young-jin began to prove her worth through dirty work such as defense, and took her career until 2015 and succeeded in a long run. She was a good example of the side effects that ill-fitting clothes can have.