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Pro Hoops Team Gets Twin Towers

Posted January. 31, 2008 07:07,   


Korea’s tallest basketball player is a member of the pro team KCC Egis, joining a veteran center whom he used to idolize.

Newcomer Ha Seung-jin met KCC center Seo Jang-hoon yesterday at the team dorm in Yongin, south of Seoul.

Ha, the first Korean to play in the U.S. National Basketball Association, was picked first in the league draft. But in a meeting with senior team members, however, the 7`3" giant bowed very politely to the 6’8” Seo.

Seo usually towers over other players on the court, but looked small beside Ha.

○ ‘Seo used to be my basketball idol.’

Seo said he nervously waited for the draft results, and was very happy when Ha was chosen.

“I got more than 30 calls from journalists, as if I’d been picked,” Seo said. “I didn’t know that I’d see the day when I would play with a player taller than myself. I hope (Ha) can contribute to the renaissance of Korean basketball, which has seen its popularity decline.”

Ha and Seo both attended Yonsei University, and the 34-year-old Seo is 11 years older than his alumnus.

Ha said, “I started basketball in middle school. Back then, Seo was my role model and I really wanted to learn his fantastic skills.”

After exchanging greetings with teammates, Ha started his first day at the dorm, receiving exclusive care and support befitting his high stature.

Attending the draft was Chung Mong-ryul, president of the team’s parent company KCC Construction. KCC Honorary Chairman Chung Sang-young, KCC Chairman Chung Mong-jin and KCC CEO Chung Mong-ik later invited Ha to company headquarters to give him words of encouragement.

○ Team bus to be modified to fit Ha

Considering Ha’s huge size, KCC will modify its 26-seat team bus. The number of seats will be reduced to accommodate him, as he weighs more than 330 pounds, has a 42-inch waist and wears size 14 sneakers.

More than 30 items Ha needs will also undergo modification, including his bed. The team is considering giving him business-class air tickets, which had been the exclusive property of Seo and certain foreign players. All of this shows the level of KCC’s commitment to its newest member.