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Park Ji-soo committed to join U.S. WNBA

Posted April. 23, 2018 07:35,   

Updated April. 23, 2018 07:35


Park Ji-soo of the Cheongju KB Stars feels as if past several days were long time ago. She was nominated in the U.S. Womens Professional Basketball (WNBA)’s draft on April 13. She is leaving for the United States on Monday to join a training camp of the Las Vegas club that has picked her.

The Las Vegas training camp is scheduled to start on April 29, but the team decided to call Park early on and provided her with air tickets, lodging and transportation to help her to promptly adapt herself to the new environment. The team has thus revealed strong interest in and expectations for Park.

Park’s primary goal is to make the list of 12 finalists who will be announced on May 17. “I think it is a 50-50 chance at this point.,” Park said. “When I arrive in the United States, I will boldly challenge to increase the chance to 100 percent.”

“Kim Gye-ryeong, Go A-ra and others participated in WNBA training camps in the past, but they failed to become final entries,” said Yang Won-joon, secretary general of the Women’s Korean Basketball League (WKBL). “Unlike them, Park has a stronger chance because she has already won recognition for her robust performance and capacity through the draft.”

Park, who is 193 centimeters tall, was named a member of the Korean national team for the first time when she was age 16. “I hear that the Las Vegas Club is seeking a player with proactive post play and scoring capability,” she said. “I will fulfill my roles whichever is given.”

In the current WKBL season, Park ranked second (12.9) in rebound among both Korean and expat players, and first in bloc shots (2.5). She also ranked 10th in total points with 14.2. She is in upbeat mood ahead of her ambitious journey because she learned from a hospital in Tokyo Japan that she has no problem with health of her knees and ankles.

Her Instagram post shows a picture of her gesturing as if holding up the Korean national flag with her two hands. She took the photo at the Jincheon Training Camp while serving as a national team member. “I hear that only if and when Korean women’s basketball, which is currently in a deep slump, secures international competiveness, it will regain popularity,” Park added. “I am not afraid of failure, and I hope to enjoy challenging.”

Park, one of the best players in the Korean women’s basketball, seemed full of confidence and ready to overcome heavy burden weighing on her.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com