Park Hye-jin, the winner of Woori Bank

After contemplating retirement until just before the opening of the season, three points in Game 4 of the championship decision “Bang.”
“The last FA of my basketball career…”I want to hear your heyday until you retire”

This moment cannot be missed if you pick the “Best 5 Best Scenes” in the 2023-2024 season of women’s professional basketball.

On the 30th of last month, Woori Bank’s Park Hye-jin (33) long-distance 3-pointer with 1 minute and 39 seconds left in Game 4 of the championship match between Asan Woori Bank and Cheongju KB made it 70-66, making Woori Bank’s 3-1 victory very likely.

Park Hye-jin played a leading role when Woori Bank achieved six consecutive wins from the 2012-2013 season. She has been named MVP three times and is tied for first in this category.

However, since about two years ago, the psychological burden caused by injury and “burnout” has increased, showing a slight slowdown.

Woori Bank also has Kim Dan-bi and rookie Park Ji-hyun, who were recruited as free agents two years ago, at the center of the team, and Park Hye-jin has already played a supporting role.

I feel that it is not enough to call Park Hye-jin, who once “chewed” the league, just “Cho Yeon.”

At least the modifier “starring supporting actor” is needed, and it was Park Hye-jin who actually hit the most decisive shot in this year’s championship game.

Park Hye-jin, who met with Yonhap News at Woori Bank Gymnasium in Seongbuk-gu, Seoul on the 4th, said, “Winning is bound to feel empty just the next day,” adding, “I still feel like I have to take a few days off and exercise again.”

However, he said that the feeling of this championship is definitely different from the previous championship.

“Since (Kim) Danbi came and (Park) Ji-hyun is a player who has to grow up as the center of the team, I have to let go of my greed,” he said. “But when I entered the court, I was greedy and upset because I had something I had been doing.”

Park Hye-jin said, “My physical condition did not come up quickly after a knee injury during the season, so I actually just wanted to do it properly because even a small role was good ahead of the playoffs and championship games.” “We are grateful that we laughed and finished at the end.”

This year’s championship game was a close game in which it was difficult to know whether to win or lose until just before the end of the game throughout the first to fourth games, and in particular, Woori Bank overturned experts’ expectations of winning the KB.

Park Hye-jin said, “I was shocked to lose the first playoff game against Samsung Life Insurance, but that was rather a medicine,” adding, “I gained confidence against KB as I won the game, which was trailing by 10 points in the early fourth quarter of the first game.”

“The championship that I always remember was the 2012-2013 season, which was my first win, and that changed to this one,” he said. “The fans also say it was an interesting championship game, but it was really hard and painful for me to play. Still, thinking about it now, I thought about whether I could do such a championship again, and it was so nice just to be there.”

His short hair style also made headlines this season.

Park Hye-jin said, “I feel like I’ve been out enough to think about retirement after the last season, and I didn’t want to play basketball again no matter how much I took a break due to my knee injury,” adding, “I really just kept resting and returned to the team the day before the opening Media Day, and I changed my hairstyle with the determination to try it with a new mind.”

“When I look at the picture at that time, I’m surprised to see ‘what confidence did I have in my hair like this,'” he said. “Even if I try to grow it out again, I think I’ve done too much.”

Park Hye-jin’s next season, who became a free agent after the season, is of interest to the entire league.

Park Hye-jin said, “When I first became a FA four years ago, I thought I would retire in four years, so I renewed my four-year contract (with the intention of retiring from Woori Bank),” adding, “But since people’s hearts are becoming a FA again, I would appreciate it if other teams could contact me as it is the last FA of my basketball life.”

At the same time, he said, “The director, coach, and the secretary-general may be disappointed, but…”I have a clue,” he said.

Coach Wi Sung-woo and Park Hye-jin are famous for their special relationship. From the 2012-2013 season when Wi was appointed to Woori Bank, Park Hye-jin was the most important member in building the “dynasties.”

Park Hye-jin told an anecdote about her FA contract four years ago.

“During the FA negotiations, the director and I were eating eel rice with the director, and the director felt awkward and said, ‘I will change (from the map style, etc.) in the future,'” he said. “If the director used to coach me with 100 intensity levels, I’m about 30 to 40 these days.”

He said, “The director seems to be having a hard time these days even when he scolded me once, and I’m worried about his health because he sweats,” and added, “I couldn’t even look at him when I was scolded before, and I was busy crying.”

Park Hye-jin’s years with Woori Bank’s Jangwi-dong Gymnasium have already been 16 years.

Demolition and construction of new buildings are continuing everywhere as local redevelopment of the gym area is underway while Woori Bank, which was “last in the last place” when he joined as a rookie, was in the “dynasties” such as six consecutive league losses.

Park Hye-jin joked, “If this gym is also redeveloped, you have to give me the right to move in,” expressing her feelings about going on vacation ahead of the FA.

When asked about her goals for the rest of her career, Park Hye-jin replied, “My skills have come down a notch compared to my heyday, but I still want to be remembered as a sincere player who is told by fans that Park Hye-jin is in her prime until the end while maintaining her performance until she retires.”

Park Hye-jin said, “This is the first time I won at home, and I was really encouraged by the fans’ support,” adding, “I don’t think I can forget the love that filled the stadium in my memory, and I would appreciate it if you could continue to support and love Woori Bank and women’s basketball.” 슬롯머신사이트