Again 2014, Oh Se-geun and Kim Sun-hyung’s Last Dance

The Korean national basketball team ‘Chu Il Seung-ho’ announces a 16-member roster for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games

The Korean basketball team ‘Chu Il Seung-ho’ announces a 16-man roster in preparation for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. The Korea Basketball Association finalized the 16-man roster and 24 preliminary entries for the Hangzhou Asian Games after discussions through the Performance Improvement Committee on May 26th.메이저놀이터

It is the first national team call in about a year since the 2022 FIBA ​​Asia Cup held in July last year. The national team has a busy schedule ahead of the upcoming Korea-Japan basketball evaluation match in July, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament in August, and the Hangzhou Asian Games in September. Led by head coach Choo Il-seung and coach Lee Hoon-jae, the national team was selected from a wide range of players, including professionals and amateurs, domestic and international players, and new and old generations, from the oldest Oh Se-geun (SK) to the youngest Moon Jeong-hyeon (Korea University).

The most notable thing is the return of the Taegeuk mark by veteran Oh Se-geun and Kim Seon-hyung. The two players are alumni who wrote the myth of ‘Chungang University’s 52 consecutive wins’ and are currently superstars representing professional basketball. In the last 2023 KBL Championship Match, the two players, who played the best game ever as the opposing team’s aces, became a free agent after the season ended with KGC’s combined victory, and Oh Se-geun, who became a free agent, transferred to SK with Kim Sun-hyung. did.

Oh Se-geun and Kim Seon-hyeong were regular customers in the national team, too. He was also a winning member of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, the last time Korean basketball reached the top on the international stage.

It is common for players who were active in Korea to become smaller when they go to international competitions. However, the duo of Oh Se-geun and Kim Seon-hyeong were one of the few players who did not hesitate and did their part consistently on the international stage. Although he is already in his mid-30s, his skills have not rusted at all. Kim Seon-hyeong won the 2nd regular league MVP in 10 years this year, and Oh Se-geun won the 3rd final MVP, the most tied ever. This is the reason why national team coach Choo Il-seung, who was emphasizing generational change, brought the two veterans back to the national team.

The two players moved away from the national team for a while as they entered the 2020s. It was because he was getting older and had residual injuries and physical burden, and the need for a generational change was great for the national team. However, in the last 2022 FIBA ​​Asia Cup, the national team reduced the vacancy of the two players. Choo Il Seung-ho showed potential with his unique ‘forward basketball’, but it was pointed out that the lack of a seasoned leader and solver was painful as the key players collapsed in the mental battle and the injury void of the main players in the quarterfinals against New Zealand.

Korean basketball has gone through ups and downs on the international stage since winning the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014. At the 2018 Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, he finished third and suffered from noise due to player selection. Former national team coaches such as Heo Jae, Kim Sang-sik, and Jo Sang-hyun all resigned amid unsavory controversies without completing their terms. In February of last year, the team was disqualified for not participating in the Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers due to a series of confirmed cases of Corona 19, and there were twists and turns of the national team having a forced hiatus without international competitions for a year after the Asian Cup.

The most important event this year is the Asian Games. Originally scheduled for 2022, but postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 situation in China, the host country, the Hangzhou Asian Games, which will be held in September this year, can be said to be a stage to restore the honor of Korean basketball. 

Since the 2000s, Korea has only risen to the top at the 2002 Busan and 2014 Incheon Asian Games held at home, but has not been able to use much power in the away. It has already been 26 years since the last time Korean basketball won an away championship on the Asian stage was the 1997 Saudi FIA Asia Cup (then Asian Basketball Championship). If you limit it to the Asian Games, 41 years have passed since the gold medal at the 1982 New Delhi Games.

Considering the ages of Oh Se-geun and Kim Seon-hyeong, there is a high possibility that this Hangzhou Asian Games will actually be a ‘last dance’ with the Taegeuk mark. The current team’s ace and naturalized player, La Gun-ah, also hinted at retirement from the national team after the Hangzhou tournament. In terms of player composition, this tournament, which is evaluated as the best since 2014, is a golden opportunity for Korean basketball to overcome the jinx of the away stage and aim for the championship.

The variable is the condition management of Oh Se-geun and Kim Sun-hyung. Both players are veterans, and their physical condition was strained due to the overtime period in Game 7 of last season’s championship match. As long as they are not players that need further verification, it is certain that the two players will be together until the final entry, unless they are injured. The two players focus on the Asian Games and slowly improve their physical condition, and are likely to be used as jokers at important moments rather than full-time starters.

On the other hand, the appearance of new faces and the harmony with ‘Choi Seung-pyo forward basketball’ are noteworthy. Along with familiar faces such as Oh Se-geun, Kim Seon-hyung, La Gun-ah, Heo Hoon, and Kim Jong-kyu, Park Ji-hoon of Anyang KGC Ginseng Corporation and Yang Jae-min, who plays for Utsunomiya in Japan’s B-League, are included in the adult national team’s training roster for the first time in their lives. Following 2022, Korea University’s prospect Jung-Hyun Moon was the only university player to be named again on the 16-man roster for the adult national team. Head coach Choo Il-seung is expected to focus on verifying the competitiveness of young players as much as possible in the evaluation match scheduled for July.

Coach Il-Seung Choo made a deep impression by showing basketball that actively utilizes tall forwards tactically through the Asia Cup, which was his international debut stage. In the Asia Cup, it was not perfect because the time to match hands and feet was short, but it was meaningful in that it proved the possibility of a new style, breaking away from the existing Korean basketball style of small lineup and 3-point archery basketball. It is noteworthy that this national team also selected a large number of swingman-type players with strengths in size and activity, such as Song Kyo-chang, Lee Woo-seok, Moon Jung-hyun, Yang Jae-min, and Lee Dae-heon, except for a few irreplaceable players per position.

However, it is a concern that some important resources are uncertain about joining the national team. Lee Hyun-joong and Yeo Jun-seok, who are considered the future of Korean basketball, and ‘Point Forward’ Choi Jun-yong, who recently signed an FA contract with KCC and hinted at the possibility of overseas challenges, were all listed in the preliminary entry, but were not included in the 16-man list. Lee Dae-seong, who was the captain of Choo Il Seung-ho during last year’s Asian Cup and this year’s professional basketball ‘domestic scorer’, was dropped from the national team list at all, perhaps because he was recently looking for an overseas expansion to Australia.

If it becomes difficult for all of them to join the national team, Choo Il Seung-ho will have to endure a considerable power loss. Of course, there is still time until the Asian Games, and since it is off-season, the physical condition of the players is still uncertain, so the final list is highly likely to be significantly different from now.

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