2019 ‘Golden Motivation’ Park Ji-hyeon and Lee So-hee
In January 2019, Coach Seong-Woo Lee and Coach Joo-Won Jeon, who lead Asan Woori Bank, laughed as if they had won the championship match. This is because he broke through a very slim probability of 4.8% and took the first pick in the overall rookie draft.
The first place that year was Park Ji-hyeon from Soongui Girls’ High School. He was evaluated as the best prospect to the extent that he already wore the Taegeuk mark in high school. Woori Bank, the champion of the previous season안전놀이터 had a very low chance of winning the first place, so Woori Bank did not conduct any scouting work for Park Ji-hyun. But a miracle happened.
Park Ji-hyun won the rookie of the year and was selected as the league’s best 5 in his third season of debut. He averaged 15.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season, again ranking among the best in the league. In addition, he contributed to Woori Bank’s overwhelming regular league victory.
At the time of 2019, the expression of OK Savings Bank (now Busan BNK), which was the lowest in the previous season with the highest probability of winning the first round of 28.6% among the six clubs, was dark. I expected a revival of the franchise with Park Ji-hyun, but it seemed that a setback occurred in front of a miracle of 4.8%.
However, it is impossible to immediately know the evaluation of the rookie draft. Lee So-hee, the second-ranked prospect from Inseong Girls’ High School, selected by the club, which has now become BNK, has also shown steady and steep growth.
Like Park Ji-hyun, Lee So-hee also jumped up to the starting lineup from the 3rd season and played an active role as a key player in the team. In a short period of time, he has grown into BNK’s, or worse, women’s pro basketball’s flagship shooter. In the last 2021-2022 season, the 3-point shot success rate was 39.9%, and this season, the hit rate was 37.6%.
Lee So-hee averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists this season and made 77 3-pointers, the most among all players in the six clubs. National team shooter Kang I-seul (Cheongju KB Stars) has created a new protagonist who holds the record for the most 3-pointers in a season, which he kept for the past 5 consecutive seasons.
Based on this performance, Lee So-hee placed BNK in second place in the regular league and, along with Park Ji-hyun, was named in the best 5 women’s professional basketball regular league for the 2022-2023 season.
The two players have different play styles. Park Ji-hyun is a versatile guard/forward with a height of 183 cm, who not only scores goals, but also helps with defense, rebounding and game management. Guard Lee So-hee, who is 170 cm tall, has a variety of scoring techniques and is evaluated to have excellent scoring explosive power.
Woori Bank has regular league MVP Kim Dan-bi and veterans Kim Jong-un and Park Hye-jin. BNK puts Kim Han-byul, who is particularly strong in the postseason, at the forefront. The 2000 draft motives, who will be responsible for the future of women’s professional basketball, join the fierce championship match (Best of 5) from the 19th. A lot of attention is also paid to the confrontation between the two players who have grown rapidly over the past four years.