The reason Park Jae-hyeon (32, 183cm) chose to enter Japan was because of the two words ‘challenge’.
Japan B. League Niigata Albirex BB announced the news of Park Jae-hyun’s recruitment on the official website on the 1st. His contract expires at the end of the 2022-2023 season. Park Jae-hyun, who made his professional debut in 2013 and played for Seoul Samsung, Goyang Orion (now Goyang Carrot), and Jeonju KCC, started his second basketball life in the B. League. 메이저사이트
Park Jae-hyun said in a phone call with this magazine, “It was not a sudden decision. I wanted to try an overseas stage before this season, so I told you in advance when I was at KCC. The club also gave me good thoughts. Fortunately, an opportunity came to him in Niigata, and the road to Japan was open, so he took on the challenge,” he explained why he decided to advance to Japan.
This season, Park Jae-hyun’s position has rapidly decreased. He has not been able to step on the first team stage in a single game. All he did was record 6.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists while playing an average of 21 minutes and 21 seconds in six D-League games. However, through the Asian quota system implemented from last season, he is now able to look for a chance to play in a team that needs him.
He said, “I had the belief that I might be able to show more of what I have. It’s basketball that I’ve been playing my whole life, but I wanted to experience it through an overseas stage challenge. The decision to advance to Japan was made because I wanted a challenge and experience.” Jaehyun Park says:
“The Niigata coach (Henry Connor) is a foreigner who speaks English. Just because he’s going to Japan doesn’t mean he’s studying to make a difference right away. It is a step in preparing little by little. In basketball, similar terms are used a lot. I want to experience it by bumping into it once.”
Currently, Niigata is at the bottom of the Central Division with 5 wins and 31 losses. Except for Kofi Cockburn (23, 213cm), a first-option foreign player who caught the eye of several KBL teams, there are no outstanding players. Park Jae-hyun has a strength in saving foreign players, so it is expected that he will make good use of this part.
He said, “I look up the team highlights or the score sheet after every game. I’m looking into his disposition and play little by little, but I think I’ll be able to find out exactly when I go. I think being able to create synergy with foreign players is my strength. I want to play smarter basketball to help the team win,” he said.
Jaehyun Park is expected to join the team around February 20th due to visa issuance issues. His B. League debut match will likely be against the Kawasaki Brave Thunders on March 8, after the FIBA break.
Park Jae-hyun said, “I have always taken on challenges while playing basketball, but I am very excited to advance to another stage. Rather than age and skill, I think being able to advance through challenges gives me strength. He thinks that basketball is not just a learning experience for life, and he is preparing diligently to achieve good results. My mindset is also ready, so I hope you will support me a lot. And as the way for Korean players to go abroad has been opened, I hope there will be more cases where they can show their competitiveness.”