Recent achievements by the Seoul SK Knights in the Korean Basketball League have positioned them as one of the top teams to claim victory in the inaugural East Asia Super League, often known as EASL.
Seoul SK Knights became the first team in the history of the Korean Basketball League to win a treble cup, the preseason cup, the regular season, and the playoffs, all in the same season during the 2021/2022 KBL season.
However, the Knights being one of the best basketball teams in East Asia will be confirmed if they can pull off an upset and win this tournament.
EsballPH HaloWin Bet opines that the SK Knights' hopes for success in this competition largely rest on the shoulders of their star player, Choi Jun-Yong, who will need to be at the top of his game to lead the team to victory.
EASL Player Highlights: Who is Choi Jun-Yong?
Choi Jun-Yong plays basketball for the Seoul SK Knights and the South Korean national team. The pro-South Korean basketball player was born on April 4, 1994, and went to Kyungbok High School in Seoul's Jongno Gu, one of Korea's first modern high schools.
By the end of his senior year, Choi led Yonsei to its first University League regular season title, championship, and Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Cup win since 2005.
He was named the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Cup tournament's most valuable player (MVP). He signed up to be picked in the 2016 Korean Basketball League draft and was considered one of the top three players for the draft that year.
In 2017, he was one of South Korea's 15 players in the FIBA Asia Cup, an international basketball tournament.
EASL Player Highlights: When did Choi Jun-Yong start his professional basketball career?
As a result of Choi Jun-Yong's productive collegiate basketball career, it is abundantly evident that he was prepared to play basketball professionally. Choi Jun-Yong was believed to be one of the top three names, along with Lee and Kang Sang-Jae, in the 2016 Korean Basketball League rookie draft and a strong contender for the first choice of the first round when the eligibility decision for the 2016 Korean Basketball Draft was made in 2016.
However, Seoul SK Knights selected him with the second overall pick in the draft, while Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus selected Lee Jong-hyun with the first overall pick. Therefore, his career as a professional basketball player started with SK Knights at the start of the 2017/2018 Korean Basketball League while also playing for Korea in the East Asia International Basketball Federation, FIBA competition in 2017.
EASL Player Highlights: Choi Jun-Yong's Recent Performances with SK Knights Going to this Competition
Despite his young age, Choi Jun-Yong had an early influence on his new club, the SK Knights, which led to him being recognized as the club's long-term leader.
In 2016, the same year SK Knights drafted Choi Jun-Yong, he already started establishing his worth as one of the crucial players who will lead the club to win in the Korean Basketball League in the future. In 2017, after an uneventful rookie season, Choi began to mature into his significant role during the 2017-18 season. This growth continued throughout the following season.
Choi Jun-Yong's contributions were more critical to Seoul SK Knights' achievements of finishing in second place in the regular season and first in the Korea Basketball League Championship. During that entire period, Choi Jun-Yong recorded 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists on a game-to-game basis on average.
Nevertheless, his injury hindered his performance during the 2018–2019 season. Choi Jun-Yong found himself in a position where he had to compete with the seasoned player Kim Sun-Hyung for a starting position when he returned to full fitness during the 2018-19 season. However, Choi Jun-Yong's performance again solidified his place as one of the team's starting five players.
The SK Seoul Knights' head coach, Chun Hee-chul, had no choice but to insert him into the starting lineup. Choi won the Most Valuable Player Award for the Korean Basketball League in the 2021–22 season and his second Korean Basketball League championship.
Choi had previously won his first Korean Basketball League championship in the 2017–2018 season. In the 2021/2022 Korean Basketball League season, Choi Jun-Yong was one of the players that led the club to the first treble wins in the history of Korean basketball, which also led to their qualification to the East Asia League.
EASL Player Highlights: Choi Jun-Yong's Impacts on SK Knight Road to the EASL Competition
The abilities of Choi Jun-Yong cannot be overstated in any way. It is impossible to state the impacts that he will have and the weight that he will carry in his first season in the East Asia Super League.
The professional basketball player's previous performances in various competitions he has played in both for the Korean basketball team and his club, Seoul SK Knights, including the Under 19 World Cup in 2013 - 2014 and the 2019 - 2020 basketball World Cup, both for the Korea national team, have been phenomenal.
In the 2017 and 2018 FIBA Asia Cups, he was a member of the South Korean national team that earned the bronze medal. The 2021/2022 Korean Basketball League Most Valuable Player is expected to live up to the high expectations placed on him due to his remarkable play for the Seoul SK Knights during the previous season of the Korean Basketball League (2021/2022).
With this, EsballPH HaloWin Bet is convinced that the sensational will make a mark in the EASL 2022 Championship.
EASL Player Highlights: Conclusion
Fans of the Seoul SK Knights and basketball in general across East Asia are in for a treat. Choi Jun-Yong has been a pleasure to watch on the pitch for Seoul SK Knights ever since he signed with the team in 2016, and the inaugural season of the East Asia Super League (EASL) promises to be no different.
The East Asia Super League season kicks off in October, and EsballPH HaloWin Bet and the fans keep their fingers crossed for a fantastic season display.
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