Lee Joon, the future of Korean Air, is a 187cm outside heater. He is not tall, but he is witty and has been recognized for his ability to cope with changing circumstances.
After being nominated by Korean Air as the 7th pick in the first round in the 2021 freshman draft, a senior at Hongik University, Lee Joon has been active on the team for two seasons.
He didn’t have many opportunities to play. He played in 7 games in his debut season and 8 games last season. Lee Joon, who sweated and improved his skills at the Korean Air Gymnasium located in Singal, Yongin City, diligently participated in training despite the regret of not being able to confirm his growth through the game.
To Lee Joon, the stage of the 2023 AVC (Asian Volleyball Confederation) Men’s Club Championship, which is currently being held in Manama, Bahrain, comes in a special way.
Early on, Korean Air coach Tommy Tilikhainen declared from the preparation stage that “we will give young players a chance.” It was important to achieve results, but the calculation was that young players, the future of the team, would be able to accumulate experience while facing players from around the world.
After taking a short two-week vacation right after the season, Lee Joon got back into shape. He spent four weeks trying to get into his best shape before the competition.
And arrived Manama. Based on his quick movements, Lee Joon performed well in the game as well. In his first match against Australia’s Canberra Heat, he scored 12 points (attack success rate 62.5%), the second highest in the team, and led the team to a 3-0 win, and was an icon for winning three sets before Indonesia’s Bayankara Freshi. In the match against Suntory Japan in the quarterfinals, Lee Joon showed an impressive appearance after being substituted in the third set, and in the match against Bayanghongor, Mongolia on the 19th, the previous day, both offense and reception were stable, contributing greatly to the team’s 3-1 victory.
After the match, Lee Joon said, “I think I’m in better shape now than when I was in Korea. This tournament will be held with a Mikasa ball. I think I fit better when hitting or receiving.”
He continued, “The game is a series of matches, and the opponent keeps changing. There is no place with low blocking in foreign countries. The serve is also strong. For me, this situation is rather helpful.”
Joon Lee. (C)KOVO
He was especially sincere about receiving. Lee Joon said, “Receiving is really difficult. You have to be sophisticated and detailed. Even a little bit of distraction will get you marks. One day, you’ll have a good day, but then you’ll fall. This seems to be the fate of all outside hitters. I think you have to overcome it.” .
At the same time, he said, “Attack is important, but I want to focus on receiving. The attack can be achieved only when supported from behind.”
Joon Lee prepares for matches every day in Manama. He is a different part from when he was playing the V-League. He is full of vitality.
He said, “It seems that my skills grow faster when I play more games than I do in training.
There were some regrets in the game, but there were also satisfying parts. Both parts coexisted in Lee Joon. He said, “I gained a lot from this tournament. I didn’t get all my skills as I thought, but I felt the difference from college when I came to the pro. I gained a lot, but I gained a lot. I want to show you the remaining 2 games,” he said with strength in his voice.
Lee Joon has a dream to grow into a position like Kwak Seung-seok in the team. Kwak Seung-seok, who rarely participates in this tournament and encourages his juniors to play, tells Lee Joon’s small movements a helpful story.안전놀이터
Lee Joon said, “(Kwak) Seung-seok hyung tells me a lot about his posture when receiving. Especially when receiving, the part where his shoulders lift slightly is pointed out and he is trying to fix it.”
Lee Joon said, “Looking at Seung-seok hyung, I try to be like him. I also want to grow up as a silent housekeeper like Seung-seok hyung.”
Lee Joon started playing volleyball in the 4th grade of elementary school. Having been nominated as a professional player and recognized for his value, he is still sweating hard to survive in the fiercer competition.
Having found a turning point in Manama, Bahrain, he is determined to devote himself to a new goal.