Moon Sung-gon (KT) is arguably the best defensive player in the KBL. Until last season, he won the Outstanding Defense Award for four consecutive seasons. This is the longest streak in KBL history. Seoul SK’s Oh Jae-hyun (24, 186 cm) will also challenge for the title this season.
Oh is a hard worker that the team recognizes. He never misses a day of training. The same goes for resting. He’s at the age where he wants to be playing, but he rests to play harder.
“There are times when I think I can’t do it because it’s too hard,” says Oh, who is currently training with the United States. But after a few years of playing, my body seems to be getting stronger. If I don’t exercise because it’s hard, it’s harder on my heart. It’s better to have a hard body. There is also a sense of joy when you see the effect in practice.”
Oh continued, “Everyone prides themselves on training a lot and working hard. However, it’s only when the results show that you’ve worked really hard. I don’t think my progress is fast. However, I think hard work is my strength. I’ll continue to work on my training so that I can improve further.”
Oh is so serious about basketball that he even has a hobby of finding and eating healthy food. “My body has never been sick. I rest well. I don’t exercise on weekends. I rest well and eat a lot of good food. I have a hobby of trying foods I don’t normally like when I hear they’re good for you. I eat fish and chicken breasts because they are delicious. I find it hard to eat American food because it’s so fatty and salty. I also take vitamins,” he laughed.
Oh was selected by SK with the first pick in the second round of the 2020 Rookie Draft. After applying for the draft as an early entry in his junior year at Hanyang University, he pushed himself harder. The result was a professional career, and he hasn’t stopped thinking about basketball since. Last season, he was named a Defensive Five for the first time in his career.
“I was a nobody until college,” Oh says. Even in my third year, I didn’t play well. But I thought that since I played basketball, I should prepare for once without regrets, so I applied for the draft and studied hard. I felt myself changing. My skills improved, and I came to the pros with real results. I don’t want to go back to the way I was. I feel like I’m being whipped to get to a higher level now that I’ve earned the opportunity the hard way.”
Early entry was a godsend. “One of my teammates is a guard, but he’s short, so I naturally had to look at No. 2. I’m not tall enough for No. 2 (186 centimeters), so I thought I should look at No. 1, but when he got injured, I looked at No. 1. I thought it was better to take this opportunity to go to the draft.”
Oh also said, “Everyone told me, ‘We don’t know you in the pros, so why are you going out?’ I only played in the October tournament due to COVID-19, and that’s when my story came out. I did well in the pro and practice matches. I think it was the best choice. Everyone said it was impossible, but it was a good choice because I did it without regret.”
Oh is often used in the No. 1 role, but his game management is still lacking. SK was without Kim Sun-hyung, who missed the team’s training camp in the United States due to his call-up to the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. Oh is also preparing for the season by focusing on game management.
“Last season, I saw (Kim) play a lot of 1s when his brother was resting, and I think it was a failure. I think the coach is giving me one more chance. I’m not going to play No. 1 for 20 to 30 minutes, but he said he wants me to play No. 1 for 5 to 10 minutes when my brother is resting, so I’m focusing on leading,” Oh said.
He continued, “I think I was confused because of my inexperience. It’s also unfortunate that my defense is my strength. The coach made it easier for me to focus on defense at the No. 2 position. I have the responsibility of the No. 1 position, and I want to fulfill it this season.”
Oh’s weakness is his shooting. He was often targeted by opposing sagging defenses, but he has been improving. He averaged 0.9 three-pointers per game last season, with a 31.6% success rate.
“You can lose your strengths by thinking about your weaknesses,” Oh said. If you focus on shooting, you can’t play defense. If you focus on defense, one or two shots will go in. To overcome it, I have to play better defense. I try not to stress,” he said.아톰카지노
He added, “I don’t take many moving shots. (Heo) Il-young told me, ‘You can practice open shots. You don’t have to time your shots well, you just have to shoot what comes out,'” he said. When I was younger, if I missed two shots, it was a big deal, but now I keep shooting because he makes me shoot more. I don’t want my success rate to go down, I want to get it up to 35%.”
The goal, of course, is the Outstanding Defense Award. It’s an award that Moon has won four seasons in a row. “It’s an award I really want to win. My brothers said they would help me a lot because I can’t win it alone, and they told me to aim for it. On defense, I’m confident that I can stop anyone one-on-one if I give 100%. I have no fear in that area. It’s defense that can make up for what Lin Hyung is lacking. I feel proud,” he said, expressing his confidence.