Incheon Shinhan Bank, a women’s professional basketball player, experienced a major power leak ahead of this season as ace Kim Dan-bi, who obtained the qualification as a free agent, transferred to Asan Woori Bank and forward Han Um-ji left for Busan BNK. Although Sonia Kim and Jinyoung Kim were brought in as FA compensation players, Danbi Kim, who has been active as the center of Shinhan Bank for a long time, seemed to be unable to fill the void.
However, Shinhan Bank is cruising, breaking expectations and tying for third place with Yongin Samsung Life Insurance with 11 wins and 10 losses as of the 1st. On the 18th and 30th of last month, it defeated Woori Bank, the unrivaled leader, and became the only team to win twice against Woori Bank this season.
Everyone is doing well, but among them two veterans, Han Chae-jin (39) and Lee Kyung-eun (36), whom Shinhan Bank boasts, stand out. Those who have entered their twilight years as players are leading the team with a fighting spirit comparable to that of younger players.
In a phone call with reporters on the 1st, Han Chae-jin and Lee Kyung-eun frankly confessed the team’s progress this season and their mindset as veterans. Han Chae-jin said, “Our players really put in a lot of effort. While talking a lot, I think I now understand what the director is asking for.” Lee Kyung-eun also said, “As the rest of the players try to fill the part where the dependence on Kim Dan-bi has decreased, it seems that synergy effects are now coming out.” It seems to get better as time goes by,” he explained.
Han Chae-jin is the oldest active member. On the 27th of last month, he set a record for the oldest player in WKBL history at 38 years and 319 days by participating in the Busan BNK expedition. Following Han Chae-jin during 스포츠토토 active duty, BNK’s Kim Han-byeol is the 2nd oldest, followed by Lee Kyung-eun. The Han Chae-jin-Lee Kyung-eun duo is the oldest duo among the 6 WKBL clubs.
Compared to his heyday, the visible records have decreased, but Gunadan Shinhan Bank coach still values them. It is because they still have a presence that can be seen in the match. In an important match, guard Lee Kyung-eun’s sharp pass was received, and Han Chae-jin finished with the outer gun and took the team. Han Chae-jin and Lee Kyung-eun are still full of confidence in their skills. Han Chae-jin, who was sluggish at the beginning of the season but recently found the pace, asked, “If it was because I was hitting the limit of my age, how can I explain why I’m on the rise these days?” Lee Kyung-eun explained, “Before, there was a lack of training due to injuries and a less developed body, but this season, I think the biggest thing is not being sick.”
It has been well over 10 years since they started to eat together from the days of Guri Kumho Life Insurance (now BNK) in the past. Now we have come to the level where we can know what each other wants just by looking at each other’s eyes. Han Chae-jin said, “Starting with basketball, we talk about everything. We’ve been together for so long that there’s really nothing to talk about.”
They always stand at the forefront and silently lead the team, and they are good role models for Shinhan Bank’s young players. So the two veterans are more resolute. Han Chae-jin said, “I think I should do the role I can. Because of the large age difference, juniors may find it difficult, so I try to approach them first.” Lee Kyung-eun said, “A player must always be ready to run. If you look at young players these days, if you can’t play or are not satisfied with the game, you can see the part that you just put down. (My juniors) emphasized that I will try to prepare first so that it does not happen.” Shinhan Bank is still strong because of the veteran duo who lead by example.