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Lee Myung-kwan's blessing in Disguise Trade

On the 16th, Woori Bank scored 13 points, including three three-point shots against Hana One Q, and won five consecutive games

Woori Bank easily overpowered Hana One Q on its home turf and regained the joint lead.

Woori Bank's Woori WON, led by head coach Wi Sung-woo, won 60-48 in the home game against Hana One Q in the third round of Woori Bank's Woori WON women's professional basketball league held at Asan Yi Sun-shin Gymnasium on the 16th. Woori Bank, which widened its score to 51-29 until the third quarter and won early on, has regained the lead with KB Stars by taking the time to remove the main players and deploy a large number of bench members from the middle of the fourth quarter (11 wins and 1 loss).

Woori Bank easily overpowered Hana One Q with its four main players scoring double-digit goals, with ace Kim Dan-bi scoring 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. However, Woori Bank was somewhat disappointed with its success rate of three-point shots at 29.17 percent (7/24) on the day, but Lee showed off his outstanding shooting ability by making five three-point shots and hitting three. Lee Myung-kwan, a transfer player who has now established himself as Woori Bank's clear option in offense and defense, is the main character.

a handful of successful third-rounders

In the women's professional basketball league, around 25 players who are expected to graduate from high school and college, players from vocational clubs, and Korean-Americans knock on the door of the rookie draft to advance to the WKBL every year. Teams selected the best stones needed for their teams and selected two to three players each year. Recently, more and more players, including Yeom Yoon-ah (KB), Kang Yoo-rim (Samsung Life Blooming's), and Kim Ji-young (Shinhan Bank's S-Bird), have settled in the league.

However, there are still very few cases where third-round picks perform impressively in the league. Most third-round picks often take off their uniforms while playing in the Futures League, and even if they debut in the first division after difficulty, they rarely grow into main players. Even in two of the three recent rookie drafts, players were selected only up to the second round and the draft was terminated without a third-round pick.

However, among the players who were born in the third round, there is a player who became a player in the league through narrow needle holes. It is Kim Ye-jin, a forward who was ranked fourth in the third round of the 2015-2016 season's rookie draft. Kim Ye-jin, who was a promising candidate who was consistently selected for the national team by age when she was in Chuncheon Girls' High School, failed to attract attention due to tall prospects such as Yoon Ye-bin (Samsung Life Insurance) and Jinan (BNK Som), but was selected by Hana One Q as the 16th overall pick in the rookie draft.

Kim Ye-jin, who had been on the bench for four seasons since joining the professional league, failed to get an average of 10 minutes per game, gradually began to show his presence, playing an average of 21 minutes per game despite a shoulder injury in the 2021-2022 season. And Kim Ye-jin, who played an average of 24 minutes and 23 seconds per game, the most since his professional debut last season, ranked first in steel with 4.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals, and after the season ended, he became an FA and wore a KB uniform under the terms of a three-year contract and an annual salary of 80 million won.

Compared to Kim Dan-bi (Woori Bank) and Jihyun Shin (Hana Q), who earn more than 400 million won (34,000 dollars) annually, Kim's contract scale is still relatively small. However, the FA contract of a third-round player was sufficient to give hope to players from lower-round players. And recently, another player has become a hope for lower-round players, who graduated from college, which is relatively small in the league. He is Lee Myung-kwan, who is expanding his presence at Woori Bank throughout the seasons.

First heyday after Woori Bank's transfer

Lee Myung-kwan, who went to Dankook University after graduating from Beopseong High School, showed off his outstanding skills on the college stage as he was selected for the national team of the 2017 Summer Universiade. However, he was put on the operating table after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2019, and for this reason, he could not be guaranteed to be selected in the rookie draft. However, he was selected as the sixth pick in the third round (18th overall) by Samsung Life Insurance, which had been paying attention to Lee's skills before he was injured.

Lee Myung-kwan, who was the last to be selected in the rookie draft for the 2019-2020 season, had the good fortune to become a champion member of the championship game while playing as a six-woman in the rookie season. Lee seemed to establish himself as a six-woman of Samsung Life, averaging 15 minutes 26 seconds in 23 games in the 2021-2022 season and 14 minutes 44 seconds in 27 games last season. However, Lee moved to defending champion Woori Bank in May through a trade with 184-cm center Bang Bo-ram.

The move to Woori Bank, which is full of national team players including Kim Dan-bi, Park Hye-jin, Park Ji-hyun and Choi Yi-sam, did not seem to be good for Lee, who needed regular playing time. However, as Yoo Seung-hee injured his knee in the opening game, Lee had a chance. And Lee, who played in 11 of Woori's 12 games this season, has been far better than expected by playing an average of 27 minutes and 2 seconds per game, scoring 7.73 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals (6th place).

Lee Myung-kwan, who made a strong impression on basketball fans by scoring a thrilling buzzer-beater winning goal in his first match of the season against KB on November 15, contributed greatly to Woori Bank's five consecutive wins with the same performance as Altoran in the Hana One Q match on the 16th. Lee Myung-kwan, who recorded 32 minutes and 27 seconds of playing time, the second most after Kim Dan-bi (34 minutes and 42 seconds), bullied Hana One Q in offense and defense with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals, including three 3-pointers.

This season, Woori Bank ranks first to third in the team's national troika, followed by Kim Dan-bi (17.75 points), Park Ji-hyun (16.08 points), and Choi Yi-sam (11.08 points). Naturally, the rest of the players, including Lee Myung-kwan, are relatively under less pressure from the defense, which is taking advantage of this season's 36.4% (16/44, 5th) success rate of three-point shots. Lee Myung-kwan, who has been getting more opportunities to play since moving to the winning team the previous season, is having his first heyday in four seasons after joining the professional league.
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Sunday, December 17, 2023
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