Yeo Jun-seok (20, Korea University) left for the United States in search of his dream. A big prospect who has appeared in Korean basketball for a long time is going to challenge the world stage, but there is no one who will not support him. However, his challenge was clearly disappointing.
The most disappointing part is the process of getting on a plane to the US. Yeo Jun-seok received the spotlight by showing outstanding performances in the basketball team evaluation match. But the day after the match, he suddenly left the national team and left for the United States.
Yeo Jun-seok was called up to the basketball team and was preparing for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Cup (opening July 12, Jakarta, Indonesia). According to the explanation of Jun-seok Yeo’s father, on the evening of the 18th, when the national team and the Philippines had an evaluation match, a letter from an American agency arrived stating that they had been invited to the showcase of the G-League teams.
The showcase will be held in mid-July. In order to pour 100% of his energy into this, Yeo Jun-seok plans to go to Los Angeles, USA in advance and train with a local trainer for two weeks.
The G-League is the lower league of the NBA. Basketball players from the United States and all over the world who have dreams of going to the NBA flock here. Yeo Jun-seok had a chance to play in front of G-League team officials and be scouted if he liked them.
But the process happened so suddenly. Yeo Jun-seok belongs to Korea University, and the team is playing in the college league. And at the same time, he was selected for the national team last month and was training at the Jincheon Athletes’ Village. Neither national team coach Choo Il-seung nor Korea University coach Joo Hee-jung had predicted that Jun-seok Yeo would participate in the showcase in July. The same goes for basketball fans.
It is not easy to seize the opportunity to enter the G-League. Yeo Jun-seok’s position that he cannot miss the opportunity is understandable. However, the fans were shocked to see the news that Jun-seok Yeo, who was interviewed with a broad smile during the national team match on the 18th, suddenly returned the national team uniform and left, saying, ‘I have an opportunity to go to America’.
The most embarrassing thing would have been the people in charge of leading the team. On the afternoon of the 19th, coach Il-seung Choo and coach Hee-jeong Joo both received a sudden request for an interview from Jun-seok Yeo, and at this place they heard the player’s word that they would leave for the United States.
If we were to unravel Yeo Jun-seok’s request, he said, ‘I can’t play in the upcoming game, so I’m leaving the team now. I don’t know exactly when I’ll be back.” Is there any coach who can calmly think about the player’s position even after hearing the bold ‘notice’ of the 20-year-old ace? For fear of being seen as a director blocking the dreams of young students, they suffered from a cold heart and told reporters, “I support Yeo Jun-seok’s dream.”
When asked that the trip to the U.S. was too sudden, Yeo Jun-seok’s representative explained, “We had already been preparing for overseas expansion for a long time.” However, Bang Sung-yoon and Lee Dae-seong, who had experienced the G-League during their college days, did not suddenly leave for the United States during the national team call.
Even though the ‘flower road’ is guaranteed in Korea, it deserves applause for Yeo Jun-seok to take on a bigger stage. However, it is disappointing that his first step towards his dream started with ‘dropping off the national team’.
A challenge is a challenge, and in the process of putting down the Taegeuk mark, polite explanations were necessary to the people involved, including fans. Even if there was a certain conflict between the process of preparing for a dream and the process of training as a national team player, I wonder if he made enough efforts to minimize a hard landing. Just as the American stage is a serious and big dream for Yeo Jun-seok, the national team uniform may be such a serious and big dream for others.
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