Go to contents

Heard of Spring League?

Posted April. 21, 2003 22:10,   


It was a league for them only. But it was full of energy.

Although there was no audience cheering for them, their zeal for the game exceeded that of the players vying for the championship title. Maybe they have bottled up the zeal too long. That was why they poured in all their energy, filling the court with their tough breathing and shouting.

It was Suwon Mobis Stadium yesterday afternoon where the 2003 pro basketball spring league took place between SBS Stars v. SK Knights, and between LG Sakers v. Mobis Automons. TG Xers wrapped up the regular 2002-2003 season. But it means just another start for them. Watertight defense slammed players against each other, and sometimes threw players onto the floor, who were dashing in for lay-up shoot.

In the spring league, three star players designated by each team are excluded. Other than them, all the other members run on court. It is more like a preliminary test for "rookies" and "second-level" players. Throughout the spring season, they have to build up good records for the upcoming salary negotiations.

The guys sitting through the regular season would not mind bumping and slamming. Leaving a strong impression—that seemed all they cared about. For example, SK Knights Son Gyu-wan, who had lost his spot in the starting lineup to Kim Young-man and Cho Sung-won, promised, "No one cares. I know it. But I will show my best. That way, I can prove myself." Throughout the regular season, he ran an average of ten minutes. Yesterday, however, he ran all the quarters, and scored most among all players.

Shin Dong-han, who also sat on bench most of the times, scored 27 and brought a victory for the Stars. Shin later said, "I could not have many opportunities. Now I have some opportunity. I will try to make the best out of it. I feel happiest running on the court."

Mobis old folks, Chung In-gyo and Oh Sung-sik, did their best not to get behind among young players.

On the other hand, "rookies" also made their debut, full of joyful jitters. Kim Dong-woo, the most promising new player, wore fashionable accessories on the court. Unlike his usual "laxness," he ran all the time on court, participating even in defense.

Watching at the faces of the players leaving the court soaked in sweat, a bright future could be detected. The spring league will have preliminaries until April 29, and its championship title match the next day.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com