Monday, June 21, 2010

Korean men's national basketball roster sees surprise omissions

Forward Kim Min-soo of SK Knights and former NCAA Basketball Division 1 forward Choi Jin-soo failed be named on the 15-man roster announced on Friday for the first overseas training of the Korean men's national basketball team in preparation for the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games in November.

While the roster is accordingly limited to training in the United States, the decision by team's head coach Yoo Jae-hak clearly hints only those with devotion to earn the gold medal at the event in China will make the final 12-man squad.

"I called up players who are able to make industrious plays with drive," Yoo said when he was asked about the criterion for selection.

The omission of Kim and Choi was not anticipated as the Knights forward has made the national squad a number of times, while Choi, 21, is viewed as a strong prospect to lead Korean basketball in the future.

"Kim was excluded because he seemed not to be ready yet," the head coach said on not taking 28-year-old to the Las Vegas practice.

Kim was a ranked shooter in the domestic Korean Basketball League, scoring 698 points with 221, 54, and 94 points from 2-pointers, 3-pointers and free throws, respectively.

Choi, used to play for University of Maryland, which has a strong basketball team. His failure to make the list suggests the prospect is lacking experience in Korean basketball at this time.

"I feel sorry for Choi as he has a good physique at 2.04 meters, and plays hard. However he lacks an understanding of the game as a forward, who unlike from a center, needs to grasp the idea of tactics," Yoo said of Choi.

"As he is young, building a college career here would help him to adapt to Korean basketball," the head coach added.

Yoo wanted to stress that the 15-man roster is not finalized and anyone who was excluded still has a chance to make the 12-man Asian Games squad which will be announced in September.

By Yi Whan-woo
Korea Times intern

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