Can Pyeongwon Joong’s Kim Hyun-jun (16, 165 cm) win the assist title?
Pyeongwonjoong defeated Yeo Cheonjoong 95-80 on Saturday at the 53rd Autumn National Men’s and Women’s Secondary Basketball Federation Haenam Games 텍사스홀덤 at Haenam Industrial High School Gymnasium in Haenam-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea.
With the victory, Pyeongwonjoong remained undefeated in the preliminary round and is on a three-game winning streak as it looks toward the finals.
It was a wire-to-wire victory based on a flawless performance, especially from Kim Hyun-jun, who was the beginning and end of Pyeongwon’s offense.
Playing as a field commander, Kim stepped up to the plate as Pyeongwon’s offense stumbled a bit in the early going. He scored 13 points in the first quarter with aggressive rim attacks and back-to-back three-pointers, which helped Pyeongwon cruise to the end of the game despite Yeocheon’s relentless pursuit.
Kim Hyun-jun’s final line was 17 points, 12 assists, and three steals in 23 minutes and 32 seconds of action.
His true value doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. He created cracks in the opposing defense with his many ball-less moves and created easy baskets for his teammates with his admirable passing.
Not only that, but he also energized the team on defense with his quick touch and active rebounding.
After the game, Kim said, “I’m so happy. It’s great to have won three games in a row with my teammates and a good performance.”
Kim’s official height for the tournament is 165 centimeters. His height is even more impressive when you consider that his teammates in the starting lineup are all over 180 centimeters. How does he manage to score so many points and grab so many rebounds?
In response, he said, “I participate in rebounding with the determination to catch the ball. Of course, there is also the feeling that the ball is falling in front of me (laughs),” he says with a shy smile.
Throughout the game, Kim drew cheers from the crowd with his skillful crossovers, flashy steps, and unexpected passes.
When asked for his secret, he said, “I don’t really practice dribbling. My passing sense has gotten better as I’ve played a lot of games, and I think that’s a positive thing,” he said.
Let’s face it, in modern basketball, being short is often a fatal weakness. As a result, many shorter players have to work hard to compensate, both on offense and defense. Kim was one of them.
“I try to play harder than other players. From basic boxing out to rebounding and especially defense, I’m trying to get better,” he said.
After the preliminary matches between Pyeongwon and Yeocheon, Pyeongwon’s Kim Hyun-jun was the South Central Region’s assist leader. He was the only player to record double-digit assists in three consecutive games, averaging 12 assists per game.
He said, “I personally want to be the assist king. However, I want to work together with my teammates and lead Pyeongwon Joong to the championship.”