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Two Women’s Basketball Stars Emerging

Posted December. 27, 2006 03:30,   


Maria Brown (23, 175cm), born to a Korean mother and an American father, came to Korea in August and joined the women’s basketball team of Kumho Life Insurance after graduating from Pace University in New York. Brown averaged 9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for her university team. She moves well and fast, armed with basic skills. However, upon her arrival in Korea, the media attention was overly focused on her appearance. She was told that she looked like a famous Korean singer.

“People didn’t say I was pretty when I was in the States. If I make a debut, I want to be recognized for my performance.”

Brown has adapted herself to life in Korea. Her interpreter Lee Young-hwa said that she is very considerate of others, which could be the result of her mother’s teaching.

She will play in this coming season as a Korean player in accordance with league regulations that state a player, either one or both of whose parents have Korean nationality, is defined as Korean player.

“I often miss my mom, and wanted to go to the U.S.. But I controlled myself because I had to spend time training and overcoming the time difference. I will visit her after successfully finishing the season.”

Another player who received the media spotlight after this year’s summer league was Ha Eun-ju (23, 202cm). Many professional teams scouted the over-two-meter-tall athlete, the first such tall player after Kim Young-hee (205 cm) in the 1980s. Finally, she signed a five-year billion-won contract with the Shinhan Bank women’s basketball team.

Ha went to Japan when she was a third grader in junior high school and became a Japanese citizen in 2002 to join the Japanese professional league. When she was in Japan, she led her high school and pro teams to the top. Recently restoring her Korean nationality, Ha is now responsible for leading the Korean national team.

“I learned a lot working with good players. Members pass balls to me. I feel comfortable.”

Basketball experts are pinning their hopes on Ha, saying that her very presence on the court is a threat to the competition.