SEOUL, Korea (25th FIBA Asia Championship for Women): Lee Mi Sun belongs to that golden generation in Korean women’s basketball that took the basketball world by storm when the East Asian team made the semifinals of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the closest any FIBA Asia team apart from China has come to a medal.
The 25th FIBA Asia Championship for Women to be played in Bangkok (Thailand) from Oct 27-Nov 3 will mark Lee Mi Sun as one of the senior most players in the fray continuing to plough her way in a team where younger players have begun to take the centrestage.
“I was surprised to get a call,” the 34-year-old said recently.
“At one point in time I was one of the youngest in the team. Now it’s the other way around. Seems to me that things have come a full circle,” she went on.
“But on the court, I am as determined anybody younger to give the best,” she added.
Korea suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of fellow East Asian team Japan at the 2012 FIBA OQT for Women at Turkey, which seems to have triggered a sequence of events in rehauling the Korean team, which includes bringing Lee Mi Sun to the forefront of the plans.
Veteran Beon Yeonha too has been recalled with stalwart Jung Sunmin being utilized as an assistant coach, more to shore up the team’s morale.
“Yes it’s true that the defeat to Japan was embarrassing, but in recent time Korean basketball has seen some very good results,” Lee said in an obvious reference to the bronze medal won by the Korean men at the 27th FIBA Asia Championship at Manila (Philippines) in August, which takes them to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup to be played in Spain from Aug 30-Sept 14 next year.
“It’s been 17 years since the men went to the World Championship. And the women’s team won the William Jones Cup recently. So hopefully al these things will act as a morale booster for us at Bangkok,” Lee said.