Choi Seong-won, ‘Blue Chip in the FA market’ “It was a difficult time to think about retirement, this exercise with a clenched fist”

Choi Seong-won (28, 183 cm) after being discharged from the military is more than expected. Choi Seong-won, who played an active role as a bench member before enlisting in the military, such as winning the Sixth Man Award, has already established himself as a key force to digest the playing time counted in four fingers in Seoul SK.토토사이트 After his debut, he was unknown, playing an average of 2 minutes in 7 games during the 2 seasons, but now he is evaluated as a blue chip in the FA market. (The interview was conducted on January 24th.

) We inform you that it was published in the month issue.

‘Nomination ranking is only nomination ranking’,

30 October 2017. Choi Seong-won, who was called to SK with the 3rd pick in the 2nd round of the KBL rookie draft and was on the podium, did not look so bright. He passed the first gateway, but he could not hide his disappointment due to the lower nomination ranking than expected. A greater despair came after his debut, but Choi Seong-won silently sharpened his sword, waiting for an opportunity to come.

He was selected with the third pick in the second round of the 2017 rookie draft. How was he feeling when he was nominated?
To be honest, at the end of the first round, I thought he would be picked, but he moved on to the second round. It was great to come to SK, but I felt bad about being pushed back to the second round in the nomination list. I accepted it with the thought, ‘The nomination ranking is just the nomination ranking, and if I go pro, I have to do better than the players who were nominated earlier than me.’

He had few appearances until his sophomore season. In particular, in the 2018-2019 season, which was his second year, all he did was digest 1 minute and 19 seconds per game. Were you nervous?
I was nervous too much. In fact, since I didn’t get a chance to play for two seasons, I thought a lot about wanting to retire. It was a second round nomination, so the contract period was only three years. So it was very difficult, but whenever that happened, I thought of my family and worked hard. When others are sleeping or resting, I came out a little earlier and exercised. I guess I was waiting for the opportunity to come.

In the 2019-2020 season, which was the third year, I got a lot of opportunities to play as a backup. Did you prepare differently compared to previous years?
Originally, it was not a style that was hard or good at defense. I wanted to take a chance, but in our team, the only way to get a chance as a backup was to defend. I worked hard on the defense, so I had opportunities, and my confidence was revived. After not playing for two seasons, I suddenly started playing close to the entire game. The season ended early, but the team also won a joint championship, so it was a season like a dream. I felt a little empty because of Corona 19, but on the other hand, I also felt the pressure to do better next season. It felt like we were playing a practice match when the audience suddenly turned to spectators. It was a season where I felt the preciousness of the fans in many ways.

You won the Sixth Man Award and 5 Defense Girls at the same time. What does each title mean?
I didn’t expect the 5th defensive girl at all. He never thought he was good at defense. Still, receiving an award is, of course, a good feeling, so I accepted it with a grateful heart. The Sixth Man Award was proud. Five people receive the 5th Defense Girl Award, but the Sixth Man Award is an award that can only be received by one person out of 10 teams. It felt good because it wasn’t an award you could only receive for being good at defense. Even after returning home, I checked the name on the trophy again to see if I had really received it.

When I was in college, I didn’t have much time to play. Is that why the field goal rate fluctuated greatly from year to year?
It was during college that it was more difficult than the first or second year as a pro. I heard a lot of advice from school coaches to quit basketball. My pride was hurt a lot and I cried a lot. I endured it thinking only of my family. Later, there was also an argument that I had to show myself proudly doing well in the pros. I had a really hard time at that time, so I was able to endure the difficult times because I couldn’t run in the early days of my professional debut.

How did you start playing basketball?
Since his hometown is Anyang, he is from the KT&G (now KGC) youth club. He played basketball in his youth club and found it so much fun that he started playing it formally from the 4th year of elementary school. Maybe it’s because I went to Anyang Gymnasium a lot when I was young, but when I go to Anyang Gymnasium to play, it feels like my home stadium. When he was young, he liked coach Joo Hee-jung, and after becoming a professional player, he came to consider coach Yang Dong-geun as his role model. Coach Yang Dong-geun is good at both offense and defense. If he concentrates on defense, his strength tends to drop when attacking, but coach Yang Dong-geun handled both without faltering. In his final season as an active player, he was never matched up. It was actually my first season, but I stole coach Yang Dong-geun’s ball, and was selected as a Distinguished Player in the game. Even now, it remains as a strange memory that I stole the ball from coach Yang Dong-geun.

He has the highest 3-point shooting percentage on the team. Was he originally confident in shooting?
I never thought of shooting as an advantage until college. After his professional debut, the manager and coaches gave him a lot of confidence. As I refined my shooting posture and snap, I gradually gained confidence. Until Sangmu enlisted, he only threw catch shots. After being discharged from the military, I wanted to show a more mature image, so I practiced a lot of pick and roll and moving shots, so I think I got better little by little.

What was the most time consuming period during your military service?
It was after the end of the D-League last season. At the time, the D-League was terminated early due to the rapid increase in the number of corona19 confirmed cases, and there was no competition for a while after that. The cup competition held before the opening of the season was a real match in nine months, but even this was not possible due to a hamstring injury. He also missed the national championships. The SK comeback match was the first actual match after the last D-League last season. Since he had no sense of actual fighting, he was very anxious about his performance after returning. As a result, it felt like time was running out of time.

“FA, I’m worried, but I’m also looking forward to it.”
SK, which returned after Choi Seong-won was discharged, had many changes, such as a change of command tower. However, Choi Seong-won’s value remained unchanged. Rather, he stands out more than before his enlistment. He took the starting position at once and grew one step further, raising his value ahead of free agency. Choi Seong-won explained, “Being a FA, I was motivated enough.”

While in management, SK achieved its first integrated championship.
Because the team’s performance was poor in the last season before his enlistment, he had a strong desire to play one more season before enlisting. I went to Sangmu because I thought it would be better for men to finish their military service quickly, but I felt sick to my stomach because I won (laughs). (Ahn) Young-jun is not here, but he has been preparing for his comeback season with the desire to win one more championship.

The command tower also changed from director Moon Kyung-eun to director Jeon Hee-chul. What do you think is the difference between coach Jeon Heechul and coach Jeon Heechul?
He didn’t know much about style when he was a coach. I was worried because I saw a lot of his charismatic appearance, but after experiencing it after being discharged, he treated me very comfortably. He hadn’t even mastered the pattern yet, so he told me not to stress about it. He was able to adapt faster than expected thanks to the many opportunities he received to play. He tells us the details well, and above all, he seems to analyze the game a lot. I believe in the director and try to follow him well.

On November 24 last year, he made his comeback against Hyundai Mobis. You played the 2v2 defense prepared by the team well, but all 4 of your 3-pointers didn’t go in. What kind of memories do you have?
There were many no-mark chances, but when I threw it, it felt like going in. He didn’t make any 3-pointers, but he was happy. I really wanted to play because I couldn’t play for over 9 months, and coincidentally, (Choi) Jun-yong in the home game was also his brother’s comeback. The team also won, so his comeback match remains only as a pleasant memory.

He became a player with a high weight to the extent that he had the 4th most playing time within the team.
Even when he was discharged, he did not think that he would digest this amount of playing time. He was expecting around 10 to 15 minutes. I heard that right after being discharged, I couldn’t play a lot of time because of various factors such as physical strength and adaptation to the team, but thanks to the coach’s consideration, I seem to be digesting a lot of time.

Coach Jeon Hee-cheol said, “Choi Seong-won is better for 2-on-2 defense, and Oh Jae-hyun is better for 1-on-1 defense.” What if you look back on your own defense?
Even from my point of view, (Oh) Jae-hyeon, who has good strength, seems to be good at 1v1. I have confidence in my understanding of defensive rotation and cooperative defense. It seems that the coach makes use of the strengths of each player well. (Depending on the situation, Kim Seon-hyung, Choi Seong-won, and Oh Jae-hyeon all play together?) Since you can maximize your speed, you can play faster basketball. The coach prepares many combinations from 1st to 3rd guard. I think the team can show more fun basketball because the colors are different.

His 3-point shot success rate reached 45.3% until the third round, but dropped to 25.9% in the fourth round. The score also dropped from 7.9 to 3.8. Is there a special reason?
During the match against KGC, he slightly collided with Lens Abando, who attempted a block shot in the process of landing after a layup shot. His right chest hurt so much. He was diagnosed and said he had a broken rib. He was also nervous about breathing, so his performance was affected. He couldn’t digest much of his training because he had an injury that had no way but to rest. It’s fine now. Today is my day off, but I went to the gym. I have to improve my shooting condition by digesting training that I have not been able to do so far.

LG has become a hot topic for having a high away win rate, but Choi Seong-won also has a particularly good record on away games.
I also don’t know why my shot goes better when I go away. I think I had a feeling that I wanted to pour cold water on the home crowd in the middle of the day.
※ Seongwon Choi recorded an average of 4.8 points and 3-point shot success rate of 27.0% in 8 home games, while he recorded an average of 8 points and 3-point shot success rate of 48.1% in 13 games away.

What is your goal for this season heading towards the end?
The team needs to make it to the playoffs. If I go up, my goal is to win the championship ring like last season. Personally, I am looking forward to my first FA. I want to get even better results.

FA seems to be the part that motivates me a lot.
It became a stimulus for me to work out even harder since I was in Sangmu. Since I became a free agent immediately after being discharged, I was worried that I would receive a worse evaluation than before enlisting. I’m worried because it’s my first FA, but I’m also looking forward to it.

What is your ultimate goal as a player?
Now, I play a lot of supporting roles for the main players. The more years I accumulate, the more I want to digest more playing time, as well as become the number 1 starter. In order to do that, you need to read the game management and rhythm better.

There are many players who do not see the light of day in the early stages of their professional debut. As a senior whose skills have been in full bloom since the 3rd year season, is there anything you would like to say to them?
It’s too hard, and you’ll think you want to retire. If you prepare with the thought that each day is your last, I think good opportunities will come. To seize opportunities, you must always be ready. Don’t give up saying ‘opportunity won’t come’ and have the mindset of ‘I will seize the opportunity that will come someday’.

BONUS ONE SHOT_A word from Choi Jun-yong who changed Seong-won
Choi Seong-won Choi is one of the juniors Choi Jun-yong cherishes in the team. Although they did not have a special relationship until joining SK, such as coming out of university rivals Korea University and Yonsei University, they quickly became close through the medium of basketball. It was also Choi Jun-yong who supported Seong-won Choi when he passed through a difficult tunnel in the early days of his debut.
“Jun-yong and his older brother became close after he came to the pros. Before, we had no relationship at all, but when I worked out or ate, I kept chasing after him. Isn’t Junyong hyung always full of confidence? Junyong’s older brother told me a lot, ‘It’s impossible to be without that confidence’. It’s not easy to change my personality, but as I kept hearing about it, my passive personality also changed. I became more active in my workouts, and I didn’t feel intimidated even when I didn’t shoot. (The social media IDs are also similar?) I wasn’t going to do that, but Junyong-hyung stole my phone and made it (laughs). He coincidentally becomes a free agent side by side, but it is true that he has a desire to continue playing for the same team. I’ve talked about this with Junyong hyung before, but I don’t know how it will turn out. That seems to be left to the heavens.”

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