Can the No. 1 hyungs, who are still active, surpass the No. 1 players in the last six years?
1st round 1st place. Everyone wants it, but only one person a year gets that honor. Prior to the 2009 KBL rookie draft, all first picks retired. In the 2010 KBL Rookie Draft, Park Chan-hee (now DB), who wore the uniform of Anyang KT&G (now KGC) as the 1st pick in the 1st round, is the 1st pick in the 1st round who has played the longest among active players.
After that, prominent figures from 2011 Oh Se-geun (now KGC) to 2017 Heo Hoon (now Sangmu) are making their names side by side. Most of them are active players worthy of their names, and even if they are not in their prime, they are active as the main axis of the team. However, the results of the first pick in the draft for the last six years have not been good. Rather, the 2nd place shows more growth, and the 2nd round shows a surprise performance.
Park Joon-young, who wore the uniform of Busan KT (currently Suwon KT) in the 2018 KBL rookie draft, is currently affiliated with Sangmu. In the four seasons he played for the KBL, he never fully proved his worth. His most played season was the 2020-2021 season, when he averaged 18 minutes and 43 seconds in 46 games, 6.9 points and 3.1 rebounds. After that, he played the game as a sixth man in the 2021-2022 season, and enlisted in May of last year. He is currently playing in the D-League under Sangmu.
Park Jung-hyun, who was nominated by Changwon LG as the 1st pick in the 1st round of the 2019 KBL Rookie Draft, also belongs to Sangmu along with Park Joon-young. Park Jeong-hyun played 40 games during the regular season due to Kim Jun-il’s Achilles tendon injury last season, and recorded 5.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15 minutes and 10 seconds. Active in the D-League with Park Joon-young and Heo Hoon, he is trying to clear his mind full of impatience and improve his psychological side. Their discharge date is November 15, 2023.
Samsung was lucky to pick the first rank in the first round in 2020 and 2021 in turn. In 2020, KBL selected Cha Min-seok, a high school graduate, as the first pick in the first round, and in 2021, Lee Won-seok from Yonsei University was selected for the early draft. It was the result of seeing high growth potential of Cha Min-seok, a high school graduate, but Cha Min-seok, a 4-year pro, has yet to prove anything. He was absent for a long time due to injury this season, and only appeared in two games at the end of January. He averaged 3.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 9 minutes and 19 seconds over two games. Recently, due to pain at the surgical site, he had to leave the line again. 안전놀이터
Lee Won-seok has certainly grown. This season, under coach Eun Hee-seok, he has become a pillar of Samsung, averaging 26 minutes and 22 seconds, 9.5 points and 6.2 rebounds in 27 games. However, an injury blocked Lee Won-seok’s path. He was diagnosed with an ankle ligament rupture in early December and returned at the end of December, but on January 22, in a match against Anyang KGC, he suffered a calf rupture injury and left the line again. This season, Samsung is at the bottom (11-26) due to injuries to key players.
In the 2022 KBL rookie draft held ahead of this season, Yang Jun-seok from Yonsei University in the early draft was selected as the first pick in the first round. At the time, Yang Jun-seok was rehabilitating after cruciate ligament surgery, but LG highly praised his ability. After rehabilitation, he started playing at the end of January and recorded an average of 4 minutes and 19 seconds, 0 points, 0 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 4 games. Yang Jun-seok still has a lot to improve, such as his game sense and stamina.
The first pick before the 2018 draft and the first pick over the past six years are comparable. It is true that he has no clear achievements. One good thing is that the recent top picks have plenty of time to surpass them.