Kang Joon-gu (Chosun University) and Kim Se-jin (Hwangji Information Industry High School) were honored as the No. 1 overall male and female picks, respectively, in the first-ever Handball Unified League (H-League) Rookie Draft.
At the H-League rookie draft, which was held at the Rivera Hotel in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, on Nov. 26 with 14 male and female teams participating, Kang Jun-goo was selected by Incheon City Corporation with the first pick in the first round.
Pivot Kang, who played for the junior national team in 2021 after being nominated for the 2018 and 2019 youth national teams, led Chosun University to second place in the National University Integration League and third place in the National University Integration Championship this year.
With the second pick of the first round, Chungnam-do selected Lee Hyuk-kyu, a 6-foot-6 player from Kyung Hee University who won the 2023 Taebaeksanggi Most Valuable Player award. Lee can play as a pivot and left back.
Hanam City Hall then selected Kim Chan-hyung (Hancheon University), SK Hawks selected Jung Mir (Wonkwang University), and Doosan selected Cho Un-sik (Hancheon University) in the first round.
In the women’s draft, Kim Se-jin was selected by Gyeongnam Development Corporation with the first pick of the first round.
The 174-centimeter Kim was a member of the 2022 World Women’s Youth Championship and the 2023 Asian Women’s Junior Championship winning team.
Cho Eun-bin (Hancheon University) was selected by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in the second round.
Jo Eun-bin is also a promising athlete who has performed well on the international stage, including winning the 2022 FISU Handball World Cup and being named Most Valuable Player (MVP), and winning the 2019 Asian Women’s Junior Championship.
The SK Sugar Gliders selected Park Soo-ju (Hwikyung Women’s High School), Incheon City Hall selected Im Seo-young (Incheon Business High School), Gwangju City Corporation selected Kim Seo-jin (Ilshin Women’s High School), Daegu City Hall selected Jung Yeon-woo (Gyeongnam Cheongdo High School), and Busan Facilities Corporation selected Choi Yuna (Hansae University) in the first round.
A total of 33 players were selected in the draft, including 13 men and 20 women.
The selection rate was 65% for men (20 players applied and 13 were selected), 91% for women (22 players applied and 20 were selected), and the average for both sexes was 79%.
The inaugural season of the H-League will begin next month with the opening game between the Busan Facilities Corporation and the SK Sugar Gliders at 2 p.m. on May 11 at the SK Handball Stadium in Songpa-gu, Seoul, and run through May 2 next year.
The H-League aims to become a professional league in the long run, but for now, it will be operated in a format where corporate and local government teams compete together. 스포츠토토