‘Son of Gunsan’ Lee Jung-hyun “I really wanted to win in my hometown… ”

 How does it feel to step on the court of your hometown as a pro player you dreamed of all your life? ‘Little’ Lee Jung-hyun (24, Carrot) has achieved his dream.

Goyang Carrot lost 72-79 to Jeonju KCC in the ‘2022-2023 SKT Adot Professional Basketball Round 4’ held at Gunsan Wolmyeong Gymnasium on the 3rd. Carrot (13-15), who suffered 5 consecutive losses, was pushed to 6th place.

It was a meaningful match for Lee Jung-hyeon, who is from Gunsan. Lee Jung-hyun is the ‘son of Gunsan’ who finished all of his elementary, middle and high school in Gunsan. When he was young, he started playing basketball after watching KCC Lee Sang-min play and to become like him. After stepping on the elite course, he became the captain of Yonsei University, just like his idol Lee Sang-min. He was named by Orion with the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 KBL Rookie Draft, fulfilling his dream of going pro.

Since 2013, KCC has been playing three games each during the year-end and New Year holidays in Gunsan, its second hometown. Last season, KCC played against LG and Hyundai Mobis SK. Carrot played in Gunsan this season, and Lee Jung-hyun finally achieved his dream of playing professionally in his hometown.

Ahead of the game, Carrot coach Kim Seung-gi said, “I told Lee Jung-hyun to do well because it is his hometown. He’s a player who could do better, but he hasn’t taken off his college basketball tee yet. He, along with Jeon Seong-hyun, is a player who should be our team’s one-two punch,” he ordered.

In the first game he played in his hometown, Lee Jung-hyun played as a starter. Even though it was the opposing team, many Gunsan fans who recognized the player from his hometown supported Lee Jung-hyun. Lee Jung-hyun was more motivated than ever. He hit a 3-pointer at the start of the game. After intercepting the opponent’s ball, he made a quick break and even provided an assist. Lee Jung-hyun broke through Heo Woong’s defense and put up a layup.

It was his second year, so he showed his immaturity. Lee Jung-hyun also showed a struggle when his opponent’s rough pressure came in. Lee Jung-hyun, who scored 17 points including 4 3-pointers until the 3rd quarter, was sluggish with no points in the 4th quarter. Carrot also showed a lack of back heart and was defeated.토토

After the game, Lee Jung-hyun said, “My parents also came to watch the game. I really wanted to win in Gunsan, his hometown, but it’s a pity,” he said, biting his lip.

Coach Kim Seung-gi took care that Lee Jung-hyun, who played in front of his parents, remained on the court until the end, regardless of the win or loss. Director Kim said, “Lee Jung-hyun is experiencing a great experience that money cannot buy. He is studying at the highest level. Lee Jung-hyun is a player who must run a lot whether our team wins or loses. It is not easy to play so many games in the pro,” he advised. It is a declaration that he will unconditionally raise Lee Jung-hyun as a next-generation star regardless of the outcome of the game.

The opposing team, KCC, was also proud of Lee Jung-hyun’s performance. This is because Lee Jung-hyun grew up watching KCC games in Gunsan and fulfilled his dream of becoming a professional player. A KCC official said, “It is a great feeling to see Lee Jung-hyun, who was a youth player on our team, become a professional player and play in the Gunsan Games. He regretted, saying, “If there was a priority system for nominations for local players, as it is now, he would have been playing as our player.”

This season, Lee Jung-hyun played in 28 games and averaged 15.5 points, 3.9 assists, 1.9 steals, 2.3 3-pointers per game, and 38.7% 3-point shooting success rate, all records rising. Having joined the ranks of the elite guards in the league, he is also likely to receive the Skill Development Award. However, as coach Kim Seung-gi points out, Lee Jung-hyun is going through growing pains to become a bigger player.