Posted November. 13, 2008 09:27,
Even rivers and mountains change in 10 years, one saying goes. One basketball player, however, has never stopped greeting fans on the court over the past decade.
Center Seo Jang-hun of the KCC Egis is set to achieve a new milestone in the Korea Basketball League.
The 6-9 giant made a spectacular pro debut on Nov. 14, 1998. Wearing the uniform of the SK Knights, he scored 24 points against the host Tongyang Orions in Daegu.
Now at 34, he is a veteran who is sure to score his 10,000th point this weekend, being just 21 points shy (9,979 points) yesterday.
Seo said he has never felt much pride because he knows the 10,000 mark is not easy to reach, no matter how much time a player is on court. He is light on his feet as KCC has emerged the league leader after five consecutive wins.
Players should not play for records, but records are history created by accumulated and objective data. Ive had to overcome injuries and stress. They are the fruits of my sweat, blood, and efforts, he said.
KCC General Manager Choi Hyung-gil said, Our team is planning a commemorative documentary about Seo Jang-hun and hold a fan meeting.
Seo is in his mid-thirties, but said he is excited over being teammates with fellow center Ha Seung-jin, who at 7-4 is the leagues tallest player.
I thought I was about to be pushed aside from the spotlight. But after Seung-jin joined the team, Ive started to receive even more attention. So Id like to produce good results, Seo said.
Seo has won league titles with SK and the Samsung Thunders, and seeks his third with KCC. His age might have him consider retirement, but he said he wants to ensure that his team wins the championship.
Flanked by taller players in Ha, Micah Brand (6-11) and Brian Harper (6-7), Seo is now free to show off his accurate shooting both in the paint and the outside.
He has also earned the nickname Neck Jang-hun for wearing a neck brace. I was very worried because the neck is extremely sensitive, he said. I have no choice but to wear it, though the pad squeezes my throat and narrows my vision. I hope you can understand the difficulties I have.
Seo also said he is not the oldest single player in the league, citing the KTF Magic Wings Yang Hee-seung, who is also 34. There are many younger players who have become fathers. Id also like to meet my other half, Seo said.