Jeon Seong-hyeon (32, 189 cm), Moon Seong-gon (30, 196 cm), and Park Ji-hoon (28, 184 cm), three former and incumbent KGC members, pledged to win the match against Japan for their old teammate Yang Hee-jong.
The Korean men’s basketball team, led by head coach Chu Il-seung, will face Japan on the 22nd and 23rd at the Jamsil Student Gymnasium in the KB Kookmin Bank 2023 men’s national basketball team evaluation match. It is the first Korea-Japan match to be held in about five years since June 2018. At that time, the national team played Japan twice and recorded 1 win and 1 loss.
A special event is scheduled for halftime of the first game on the 22nd. It is Yang Hee-jong’s national team retirement ceremony. Yang Hee-jong announced his retirement from active play at the end of last season. His uniform number 11 was designated as Anyang KGC’s메이저놀이터 first permanent number.
His career as a national representative is also spectacular. He participated in major international tournaments such as the 2006 Doha Asian Games, 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, 2014 Incheon Asian Games, 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, and 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. At the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, he played an active role in both offense and defense, helping Korea win the gold medal for the first time in 12 years.
Seonghyeon Jeon (Sonno International), Seonggon Moon (KT), and Jihoon Park (KGC), who are currently selected for the national team, ate together with Heejong Yang at KGC in the past. KGC, which they played together, was a strong team representing KBL. They are also known for being close friends. Therefore, for Yang Hee-jong’s retirement ceremony, he promised to win the match against Japan.
Jeon Seong-hyun said, “(Yang) Hee-jong sent a message to me to win at the retirement ceremony. He asked me to only put in three 3-pointers. I have a great desire to hold Hee-jong’s retirement ceremony with a happy heart by widening the score gap before halftime.”
Moon Seong-gon said, “It’s special that Hee-jong’s retirement ceremony will be held. He would not have been able to play if he had not been selected for the national team, but he is fortunate to be there. He can’t play a losing game, so he wants to shine at his retirement ceremony by running for life.”
Park Ji-hoon said, “Hee-jong hyung was a great player in the KBL, and he left great achievements as a national team member, so I think he prepared a retirement ceremony at the Korea Basketball Association. He laughed, saying, “I must win because of the retirement ceremony.”
Japan formed the best members of the B.League for the evaluation match against Korea. On the other hand, in Korea, Oh Se-geun, Kim Seon-hyung (above SK), and La Gun-ah (KCC) are unable to participate due to injuries. However, as it is a match between Korea and Japan at home, it seems that they will do their best to win.
Jeon Seong-hyun said, “Isn’t the national team a heavy position with a strong sense of responsibility? The game is played at home and the opponent is Japan, so the players are training really hard. Everything is focused on the war against Japan. Everyone has a strong desire to win, so we will do our best.”
Moon Seong-gon said, “Because it is a Korea-Japan match, of course winning is important. But showing our basketball is the key. If we are good at basketball, we can win enough, so we will work hard.”
Park Ji-hoon said, “I watched the evaluation match against the Philippines in Anyang last year, and the atmosphere was very fun. Since it’s a Korea-Japan match, I think I’ll have to work hard to live and die. I will do my best to show you a good image.”