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KBL draft for foreign players, who did well and who did not?

KBL draft for foreign players, who did well and who did not?

Posted July. 25, 2014 06:55,   


In this season of Korean Basketball League (KBL), two pro-team coaches are being under spotlight – Lee Sang-min of Samsung and Kim Yeong-man of Dongbu, who are both 42 years old. They both had been star players popular with eye-catching basketball skills in the college and professional leagues and now they are preparing to become a head coach of the team. The two made contrasting choices in the KBL draft for foreign players held in Las Vegas, the U.S., on Thursday. Attentions were paid to the draft since good results of the foreign player draft can decide successful or unsuccessful year. Lee chose two new players in their 20s who never experienced in KBL. On the contrary, Kim chose 30-something players who have played in the domestic league. During the time when Lee and Kim played in the KBL, they showed stark contrast in playing styles: Lee preferred changes and challenges, while Kim put weight on prudence and stability.

Lee, who enjoyed the luck to make the first choice, drafted Leo Lyons (206 cm tall), who was regarded as a top draft pick. After graduation from the University of Missouri, Leo played in basketball leagues in Turkey and Ukraine. He excels under-the-basket shots and outside plays. Lee said, “(He is) the player that I wanted to draft. He is good at shooting three-pointers, having good power of scoring.” After drafting Keith Clanton (203 cm tall) in the second round, Lee expressed high expectation, saying “I eyed him last year. He is expected to build up great teamwork with other players as he has good personality.”

Kim picked second in the draft David Simon(204 cm tall), who averaged 20 points and 9 rebounds a game while playing in KT&G and picked Anthony Richardson (201 cm tall), who played in KT and Orions, in the second round. Kim said, “Simon is able to support Kim Joo-seong and Yoon Ho-young by boosting power. Richardson is suited for fast-paced basketball games.”

KT’s head coach Jeon Chang-jin selected Marcus Lewis (198 cm tall) and Marcus Goree (201cm tall), who coincidentally have the same name with each other. Observers said the two drafted players make a good fit with the coach who puts emphasis on personal character and team spirit.

Among 20 foreign players drafted this season in KBL, the number of KBL-experienced players reached the highest ever 13. Leon Williams (KT&G) and Deshawn Sims (KCC) successfully re-entered to the KBL.