Acting coach Kim Joo-seong (43‧205cm) of Wonju DB was called the best power forward in the country during his active career. Even now, five years after his retirement, his name is always mentioned when discussing the ‘Number 1 Big Man’ in KBL history. Basically, while having a good size, he was equipped with motor nerves, agility, and high BQ, and in addition to that, he was altruistic. His greed for individual records was also on the small side, so he was a player that all coaches coveted, just like Lee Seung-hyun today.
Kim Joo-seong was able to combine smoothly with any type of big man, including foreign players. He didn’t choose a partner, from a power type to a skilled player, to a style similar to his own. Because of this, the DB of his team had more freedom of choice when selecting foreign players, and he was able to operate ‘twin towers’ of various colors throughout his active career.
The bottom of the goal, where Kim Joo-sung and the foreign big man are holding on, was so unique that it was called ‘Wonju Fortress’, and as a result, DB was able to rise to the ranks of prestigious KBL representatives. It is an analysis that the so-called ‘Kim Joo-seong effect’ cannot be ignored in the background where Lee Seung-jun (45 205 cm), who continued to play that fell short of expectations in the KBL league, was particularly excited when he joined the national team.
Of course, from the beginning, there were not many people who expected that Kim Joo-sung would fit in well regardless of the type. Acting coach Jeon Chang-jin, who picked Kim Joo-seong as the first pick in the rookie draft during his TG Sambo days in Wonju and hurrahed with playing coach Heo Jae, expressed his intention to slowly grow with time. Unlike Seo Jang-hoon, who has already faced numerous unemployed players since his college days and has gone through many battles, there is a big reason why he judged that he would need a lot of experience because he only played on the university stage.
For this reason, the foreign big man he would work with also considered a tall and strong type who would become the bodyguard for skinny rookie Kim Joo-seong, and that player was Derek Johnson (51‧205.4cm). Johnson, who stands out with strong power emanating from his large size, already had experience playing in Wonju during his Narae days. In 1998, after being nominated for Kia Enterprises in the 2nd round of the 2nd round in the foreign player tryout, he moved his nest to Narae when he was in a big deal with Heo Jae, Johnson-Jeong In-gyo, and Jason Williford.
As his wing days showed, Johnson had his strengths and weaknesses. When he established himself under the goal, his power itself was outstanding enough to push through the stacked defense with physical fights and make dunks, but his power decreased as the season went on, revealing his weaknesses in speed and defensive range. In addition, he was a difficult player to deal with because he had a bad temper, such as laughing and leaving the court saying he did not like the judgement. At the time, director Choi Myung-ryong also suffered a lot because of Johnson.
However, it was different in TG Sambo, where super rookie Kim Joo-seong joined. Kim Joo-seong had strengths in Johnson’s weaknesses, such as speed and range of motion. Unlike his former days, he only had to use his strengths in TG Sambo. There, as the years passed, he became more mature. His hot-tempered nature was still the same, but he learned to be patient even when the referee’s judgment was unsatisfactory, and when newcomer Kim Joo-seong felt shaken, he came to his side and patted him on the shoulder, showing a 30-year-old look.
While Johnson struggled with the opponent’s big man, Kim Joo-seong came in to assist or block shots, and TG Sambo was able to become the first team to have a height advantage since the team was founded. Under the coordination of veteran Heo Jae, who turned into a point guard, the power of the first Wonju Sanseong grew bigger and bigger, and David Jackson and Yang Kyung-min’s outer guns also spewed fire. TG Sambo, which has always been played only in the middle ranks, has finally risen to the ranks of the strong teams.
However, the team did not stay with Johnson until the end of the season. At the end of February, with six regular season games left, Johnson was out for the season due to aggravating shoulder injury. Feeling impatient, TG Sambo hurriedly recognized a new foreign big man and hurriedly brought in Leon Derex (48‧204cm), who had been expelled from the Chinese league.
If I could choose, a power center like Johnson would have been the 0th priority for recruitment, but in the situation at the time, there was no time to argue with cold rice or hot rice. The skinny Derricks was far from a power big man, and his offense was also mediocre. However, as can be seen from the fact that he played frequently in domestic leagues from before, he had his own definite strengths.
He has a good reading of the game and a good passing sense, that’s part of it. Because of this, when Derex joined, TG Sambo was able to see better effects in defensive rotation and ball flow, and Jackson, who was free from Johnson, who had been interfering a lot, hit the long-awaited 3-point shot and won the long-awaited championship match.
Watching Kim Joo-seong, who works well with both Johnson and Derek, the team learned that he is a player who works well with any type of player. In the meantime, there was an opportunity for the height of Wonju Mountain to soar toward the peak in earnest, and it was none other than the recruitment of foreign big man Jamil Watkins (45‧208cm). As can be seen from the fact that he led the team to a combined victory in the first year, Watkins boasted a perfect teamwork with Kim Joo-sung.
As both of them are altruistic team players, the concern that their explosive power would be diminished was literally unfounded. To put it simply, Watkins was the black version of Kim Joo-sung, who was good at fighting and had improved athleticism. As he had strengths in rebounding and blocking shots since his college days, the bottom of the goal guarded with Kim Joo-sung was truly impregnable itself. During his three seasons at Wonju, Watkins averaged over 600 rebounds and over 100 blocked shots per year. The combination of Kim Joo-seong and Watkins is still regarded as ‘the most overwhelming defensive twin tower ever’.
Working with Reggie Okosa (42‧208cm) was not bad either. He was nominated second in the 2007 foreign player tryout, and he had stable skills befitting his high rank. Although he did not have special strengths in scoring or rebounding, he was evaluated as having a good eye for reading the flow of the game and making sensible and clever plays.
As in the days of Derricks and Watkins, the former coach did not even want the Twin Towers to attack. In terms of scoring, he only played a basic role and emphasized stability in defense. Since it was a time when two foreign players were playing, the attack had a technician-type foreign player at the forefront. In addition, he made good use of multiple archery units and harassed the opposing team. 안전놀이터
Rod Benson (38‧206.7), who was famous for the salute ceremony after the dunk shot, cannot be left out. He was a clever player who knew how to make good use of his height and wingspan. In addition to his size, his mobility and athletic ability were equally good, so his balance in offense and defense was good. He liked to use a bank shot after a face-up or a hook shot pushed into the post-up, and his success rate was quite high. It can be said that he was a simple yet formidable weapon. Compared to his thin physique, he had good strength, so he played a pivotal role in his post. As a player who played 5 seasons after being replaced, it can be said that he is a foreign big man representing Wonju Sanseong along with Watkins.
Kim Joo-seong, the best franchise star who changed the color of the team during his active career, is now taking on a new challenge as an acting manager. Although it is still premature to evaluate him as a leader because he has just taken the baton, the fans hope that he will leave a brilliant career as a leader after having spent his ‘glory era’ as a player.