“We need to be strong, and we need to win a medal no matter what team we meet.”
When we met at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do on March 26, Park Ji-hyun (23-Asan Woori Bank) was the first to say “disappointed” and “sorry”. “I couldn’t repay the fans’ support,” she said of her performance at the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2023 in Australia last June. I am disappointed in myself and have a lot to reflect on,” she said, vowing to live up to expectations at the Asian Games, where all eyes will be on her.
Despite finishing fifth and failing to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Park averaged a team-high 14 points in the tournament.
“My individual performance is meaningless if the team loses,” she said, “Coach Jung Sun-min asks me to attack with confidence. As I am given a lot of playing time, I have to play according to the situation and help the team.”
As for what they need to work on, they cited “communication between players. “I couldn’t help (Park) Ji-soo (25-Cheongju KB) after she was entrusted with the offense, and I didn’t have enough support when (Kang) Isul (29-KB) didn’t explode from the outside,” Park said. “I need to use my strengths to play all positions. I will focus on rebounding, defense, and other things from day one and be greedy when I need to score.”
The team hasn’t forgotten about FIBA World No. 2 China, who will be competing in their home city of Hangzhou. “We didn’t get over the hump,” he said of the overtime loss in the third round of the Asia Cup group stage, “so we have to go into the game with a lot of venom and a desire to win. If we prepare based on our experience of playing against equal opponents, we will have a good chance of winning.”
Park’s brother, Park Ji-won (25), is in charge of the cheering squad whenever she competes in international competitions. As a professional athlete in the same sport, she is the one who can best understand her sister’s feelings. “I ate rice with my brother when he came to Jincheon Athletes’ Village to play practice matches with the national team as a member of Sangmu. When I asked him to join the national team, he said, ‘I’ll do my best,’ in a shy voice,” Park laughs.온라인바카라
His favorite teammate is Kim Dan-bi (33-Woori Bank), the reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Korean Women’s Basketball League (WKBL). He recounts how he was once scolded by his coach for imitating Kim on the team, but then shrugged and said, “She understands the characteristics of the players and adjusts to them. I play with that, so we have good chemistry and I get a lot of help,” he said.
He then mentioned the women’s volleyball team, which reached the quarterfinals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. “We talk a lot about volleyball among the players. “We all want our sport to be recognized,” she said, adding, “We all want our sport to be recognized, and we all want our sport to be recognized. I will compete with the responsibility that the popularity is created by the athletes,” he concluded.