Thursday Sep 28, 2023

Yeo Jun-seok’s advice to ‘K-Durant’ Lee Yoo-jin: “Do whatever you want to do”

“(Lee) Eugene, do whatever you want to do.”

The South Korean U19 men’s national basketball team will compete at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup Hungary starting on Nov. 24 in Debrecen, Hungary.

Last year, South Korea won the U18 Asian title in Tehran, Iran, for the first time in 22 years, but the team is facing a significant talent leak ahead of the world championship a year later, with MVP Lee Ju-young and BEST5 Lee Chae-hyung out with injuries.

U19 head coach Lee Se-beom chose high school players like Seok Jun-hwi and Lee Yoo-jin to replace Lee and Lee Chae-hyung, with Lee’s “K-Durant” Lee being a particular favorite. He will add height and speed to the Korean team, so he’s a player to watch in the upcoming world tournament.

“I think it’s good for Korean basketball to have a player of his size (200 centimeters), speed, and shooting. He is a player to watch in this tournament.”

Kang Sung-wook also said, “First of all, his shooting is good. He has a long stride, which makes him difficult for opponents to defend. He has a very good three-point shooting percentage, so I think he is a very difficult player to defend even if he is on the same team.”

“It’s an honor,” said Lee on the 14th at Yonsei. I’m playing with players from other schools and my brothers. I really want to achieve something.”

The common thread between Lee, ace Kang Sung-wook, and Lee Yoo-jin was the defense: the offense is more or less in sync, but the details of the defense that won the Asian tournament, such as the 3-2 drop zone, need more time.

“The offense is coming together to a certain extent, but the defense is still lacking. We need to work on our pick-and-roll defense and trap defense,” Lee explained.

In the last Asian Games, Lee put Lee Ju-young at the top of the 3-2 drop zone. With Lee Chae-hyung and Kang Sung-wook on the wings, they dominated Asia with their strong pressure defense and transition game. It’s unlikely we’ll see that at the Worlds, which is why they’re experimenting with a 3-2 drop zone with Lee at the top.

“It’s still difficult,” Lee said. I’m trying to understand it as much as I can,” she said, adding, “(Kang) Sung-wook is actively talking to me about it, so I’m adjusting to it.”안전놀이터

Lee’s role model is Yeo Jun-seok. She ate with him at Yongsan High School and got a lot of advice from him. After going to Gonzaga University, Yeo has been quietly pursuing his NBA career, and when he heard about Lee’s call-up to the national team, he offered advice.

Lee said, “(Yeo) recently got in touch with my brother. He told me to do everything I want to do,” he said. “He also told me not to regret it. His advice motivated me because he did so well in previous competitions.”

Finally, Lee Yoo-jin stated her goal in short and bold: “I want to finish first in my group.”


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