Jo Jun-hee made his debut.
The Seoul Samsung Thunder lost 87-91 against the Seoul SK Knights in the 2023 MG Saemaul Bank KBL CUP 먹튀검증 at Wolmyeong Gymnasium in Gunsan on Monday.
Samsung battled hard against SK, but couldn’t get over the hump in the final minutes. However, the impressive performances of new faces Kofi Coburn (33 points) and Avan Nava (17 points) were encouraging enough.
In addition, another new face made his debut in the game. It was guard Jo Jun-hee, the fourth overall pick in last month’s KBL Draft.
Born in 2004, Jo Jun-hee entered the KBL draft as an undrafted player. Standing at 6-foot-6, with excellent athleticism and shooting ability, Jo came to the KBL from IMG Academy and Cerritos College in the United States after studying in Canada.
There wasn’t a lot of information on him compared to other players, so his evaluation at the time of the draft was polarizing. Samsung took a leap of faith and chose him over a big man prospect. Many people were surprised by Samsung’s decision.
However, Jo’s debut came sooner than expected, as he was able to get to know his teammates in a short time after being drafted, joining the roster and playing in the first game of the Cup.
Even though she has only just made her debut, Jo has already attracted a lot of attention from fans. After a strong showing at the tryouts, Jo stepped onto the court at the Cup and was greeted with one of the loudest cheers of the day.
With only 2 minutes and 49 seconds of allotted playing time, Jo didn’t get to show much. However, she made a strong impact in her short time on the court. Even though the game was lost, Jo’s late-game performance has us excited to see what he can do in the future.
After entering the game for the first time in the fourth quarter, Jo Jun-hee played a two-on-two with Lee Won-seok and dished out an assist on his three-pointer with a sharp pass. Stepping onto the court again at the end of the quarter, Jo Jun-hee registered his first points of the game with an athletic moving three-pointer after an off-ball move. It was a brief glimpse of his shooting ability.
Head coach Eun Hee-seok was also pleased with the debut of his highly touted prospect after the game. Eun acknowledged that Cho will need time to develop, but said he plans to put him in the rotation from this season and develop him thoroughly.
“Of course, he still needs time, and I don’t deny that,” Eun said. However, given her shooting potential and athleticism, we plan to put her in the rotation and thoroughly develop her from this season. She made a shot today and had a good assist. I think he did a good job with his defense and offense with the team. We will give him more time next time.”
Samsung has a number of ball-handlers who can run the offense with the ball, including Lee Jung-hyun, Kim Si-rae, and Aban Nava, and Coburn, who has great inside presence. In this situation, if Cho can utilize her long-range shooting ability, there’s no reason why she can’t work her way into the team’s rotation in her first year.
After an impressive 2 minutes and 49 seconds, what will Jo’s next game against Sono look like? The story of his KBL journey has just begun.