Kim Jong-Kyu Returns for Korea ahead of World Cup Qualifiers
Korea’s national team received a solid reinformcement as veteran center Kim Jong-Kyu was reinstated in the twelve man lineup for the first window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifier games against New Zealand (Nov 23) and China (Nov 26).
The Korean Basketball Association has announced the official inclusion of Kim Jong-Kyu after the Changwon LG Sakers center has fully recovered from an ankle ligament injury where Kim flew to Japan to seek medical treatment.
The surprise return of the 206cm center bodes well for Korea’s chances against the New Zealand Tall Blacks whom they beat twice in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup. Kim Jong-Kyu will also add depth to the front-court against China’s towers lead by Olympian Wang Zhelin.
With the return of Jong-Kyu to the twelve man lineup, Seoul SK’s 200cm center Choi Bukyeong will be listed among the reserves.
Currently, the national team is still far from its full-strength as Seoul SK’s Kim Sun-Hyung is still recovering from an ankle fracture while Samsung’s Ricardo Ratliffe has yet to be granted a clearance by the Ministry of Justice for his “special naturalization” procedure. Head coach Hur Jae expects that Sun-Hyung and Ratliffe will be available in the February 2018 qualifiers campaign.
Korea’s National Team for the November 23-26 Qualifier Games
Guards: Park Chan-Hee (Incheon ET Land), Kim Si-Rae (LG Sakers), HeoHoon (Busan KT)
Forwards: Jeon Jun-Beom (Ulsan Mobis), Lee Jung-Hyun (KCC Egis), Choi Jun-Young (Seoul SK), Heo Ung, (Sang-Mu), Lee Seung-Hyun (Sang-Mu), Yang Hee-Jong (Anyang KGC)
Centers: Oh Se-Keun (Anyang KGC), Kim Jong-Kyu (LG Sakers) Lee Jong-Hyun (Ulsan Mobis)
Image courtesy of FIBA