Jeonju KCC Lee Jong-hyun (29, 203 cm) has been attracting attention as a large center that will lead the future of Korean basketball since his amateur days. Before his professional debut, he was selected for the 2014 Incheon Asian Games national team and contributed to the championship, and he also solved his military service early. Then, when he was selected as the first overall pick by Ulsan Hyundai Mobis in the KBL rookie draft in the 2016-2017 season, it seemed that a solid road was unfolding. 안전놀이터

Lee Jong-hyun, who averaged 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds in the first two seasons of his debut, fell into a slump after suffering two major injuries: an Achilles tendon rupture in the 2017-2018 season and a patella tear in the 2018-2019 season. After only appearing in two games in the 2019-2020 season, he never exceeded the average playing time of 15 minutes in a season. In the ‘2022-2023 SKT Adot Professional Basketball’ regular league, he played 24 games as a member of Goyang Carrot, but the average playing time was only 13 minutes and 25 seconds (3.3 points, 3 rebounds). In the end, on the 1st of this month, the trade deadline, I was given a KCC uniform in return for Kim Jin-yong and Park Jae-hyun.

Going to KCC is the last challenge and opportunity for Lee Jong-hyun. Considering the situation of KCC, which lacks big man resources, he can step on the court for a long time depending on his own efforts. Senior Lee Seung-hyun (31), who was with him at Korea University and Orion (now Carrot), also left due to an elbow injury, so Lee Jong-hyun’s role is by no means small.

Lee Jong-hyun contributed to the team’s victory by playing 15 minutes and 42 seconds in the home game against Changwon LG on the 5th, the first game after the trade. He actively participated in the rebound and attempted a sensuous bounce pass from the outside, raising expectations by showing lighter body movements.

The fact that KCC is with Lee Seung-hyun, who has been known as the ‘soul combination’ since Korea University, is expected to revive Lee Jong-hyun. One coach explained, “For a player who is in a slump, changes in the environment, such as reuniting with colleagues and coaches who are in good breath, can be an opportunity to rebound.” The fact that he can help the team in 6th place (17 wins and 20 losses) advance to the playoffs (PO) can act as a great motivation for Lee Jong-hyun. A KCC official said, “I hope that Lee Jong-hyun and his close senior Lee Seung-hyun will create a synergistic effect.”

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