KT’s Kim Junghwan soars past ‘draft misfortune’ in pro basketball

“I think it was one year backward for 10 years forward.”

KT Suwon’s third-year guard Kim Jun-hwan, 25, raised expectations by scoring a career-high 25 points.

KT rode his performance to a 90-87 victory over Seoul Samsung on Thursday at Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium to snap a three-game losing streak in the 2023-2024 regular season.

In his first start of the season, Kim scored 18 points, including two three-pointers, in the win. It was the most points in a game in his professional debut.

He was accurate from the corner three-point line and drove through gaps in the defense for easy baskets. He also added two steals and a blocked shot on defense.

Many were surprised by his performance after only appearing in seven games in his rookie season and eight games last season.

Junghwan Kim has a story of heartbreak in his professional career. He was passed over by all 10 teams in the 2020 rookie draft.

He was an offensive guard who scored 33.7 points per game in the first round of college basketball that year, but he was dropped overnight and became a “former basketball player”. 캡틴토토 주소

At the time, there was a lot of talk about his undrafted status. ‘It was because Kim Jun-hwan’s alma mater, Kyung Hee University, was off the radar of professional clubs’, ‘He was pushed aside because several teams made academic, delayed, and blood relation picks in the lower rounds’, etc.

But nothing could overcome the invincible logic of “it is the sole right of the club and the manager to nominate players” unless there was a trace of mimicry. Kim Jun-hwan left the court.

Faced with the prospect of retirement, Kim refused to give up and kept his senses on the 3×3 stage. He re-entered the 2021 draft, and KT selected him with the ninth pick of the second round (19th overall).

“I think it was one year backwards for 10 years forwards,” Kim said after putting on KT’s jersey.

The pros weren’t easy. He didn’t get enough opportunities in his rookie two seasons because of the presence of established stars like Heo Hoon and Jung Sung-woo. He averaged 1.4 points in seven games in 2021-2022 and 4.3 points in eight games in 2022-2023.

This season, new head coach Song Young-jin boldly pulled out the “Kim Jun-hwan card” in the midst of a three-game losing streak. He didn’t start Kim from the opening game due to his ups and downs in the offseason.

Kim Jun-hwan took a career-high hit in the Masu-girl match. It will be interesting to see if he can rise above the pain.






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