Shinhan Bank Lee Kyung-eun, a veteran who has endured many changes

This article was published in the March 2023 issue of Basket Korea webzine. The interview was conducted on February 7th, and the records related to Shinhan Bank and Lee Kyung-eun are based on the time.

Life is always exposed to waves of ‘change’. It fluctuates more than the waves in the sea. So even those who have lived their lives for a long time cannot easily adapt to the waves of ‘change’.
Lee Gyeong-eun (Incheon Shinhan Bank) also suffered from numerous storms. Many changes made Lee Kyung-eun difficult. However, Lee Kyung-eun became more solid in the change. She is also trusted by her team and colleagues. This is because Lee Kyung-eun is a veteran who has endured many changes.

Choice and Ordeal
Lee Kyung-eun joined the Kumho Life Insurance Red Wings (currently Busan BNK Some) as the second overall pick in the 2006 WKBL Freshman Selection. Immediately after joining, he entered Chuncheon Woori Bank Hansae (now Asan Woori Bank) in a 2-2 trade, but returned to Kumho Life Insurance in the 2007-2008 season. He spent 11 seasons in Guri, including the days of KDB Life Insurance (Kumho Life Insurance and KDB Life Insurance’s hometown was Guri)
. I was put at a crossroads of choice. After thinking about it, Lee Kyung-eun changed her uniform. During his three-year contract period, he wore a Shinhan Bank uniform under the condition of a total annual salary of 210 million won for the 2018-2019 season.안전놀이터
However, both Shinhan Bank and Lee Kyung-eun had a hard time. Shinhan Bank, which once experienced an integrated 6-game losing streak, faced an ordeal at the bottom, and Lee Kyung-eun only played 15 games. His average playing time was also not long at 20 minutes and 30 seconds. He made a choice, but he couldn’t escape the ordeal.

He only played for one team for over 10 years starting from the 2007-2008 season. However, after the 2017-2018 season ended, the team moved to Shinhan Bank in Incheon.
He got his third free agent in his basketball career. But he was the first to go to the market. Also, there was a special variable. Our club was disbanded, so I had to talk to the federation first. (KDB Life Insurance announced the end of the basketball team operation, and WKBL took over the KDB Life Insurance basketball team. Temporarily conducted consignment operation) So I think I was pressed for more time. .
However, I felt that a change was needed rather than such a variable. (Kim) Danbi is a team and I was greedy for team performance, so I chose Shinhan Bank. However, later I thought, ‘It would have been nice if I transferred without getting sick…’.
However, Shinhan Bank ranked last in the 2018-2019 season (6 wins and 29 losses).
It was a time of great change in my basketball life. There was also a lot of pressure to get good grades. But the results were not good. So it was even harder.
Lee Kyung-eun also only played 15 games.
As I said before, there was a lot of pressure to get results. I also had the desire to do well. For that reason, I think I played with a less-than-perfect body. (Lee Kyung-eun needed a year after knee surgery. However, because of the pressure mentioned above, he added that he went on the court earlier than expected). In the end, the season was out. .

Change and Desperation
Shinhan Bank chose change after the end of the 2018-2019 season. The biggest change is the coaching staff. Coach Jeong Sang-il, who has a lot of bones in women’s basketball, took the baton. Coach Guna Dan (current Shinhan Bank coach), who has a good understanding of offensive tactics, and coach Lee Hwi-gul (current Shinhan Bank head coach), who is an expert in physical training, also joined the team.
The coaching staff came to reorganize the team. However, there were not enough players to fulfill the team color. So Shinhan Bank’s coaching staff and the secretariat brought in several players from several teams. The Shinhan Bank team has undergone many changes, to the extent that coach Jeong Sang-il uses the word ‘allied force’.
For that reason, Shinhan Bank was ranked as the lowest candidate. But it did well. Although the 2019-2020 season ended early due to Corona 19, Shinhan Bank finished the regular league in 4th place (11 wins and 17 losses). Lee Kyung also participated in the game in better physical condition than before. He left an excellent figure against the time he played on the record.

From the 2019-2020 season, I have been with coach Jeong Sang-il.
When I was in the women’s basketball team at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, (coach Jeong Sang-il) worked with me as a coach. I was curious to hear that he was coming as our team’s coach.
But even then I was focused on rehabilitation. Also, I started tactical training later than other players. So I think I needed a longer time to digest the coach’s basketball.
The coaching staff has changed, but the players have also changed a lot. A lot of players came from different teams.
Shinhan Bank was the first time I moved a team by my choice. However, after joining Shinhan Bank, I focused on rehabilitation. It wasn’t until September (2018) that I was able to do tactical training. I didn’t have enough time to get acquainted with the players, and I didn’t have enough time to adapt to the new basketball. That was really difficult.
After coach Jeong Sang-il took office, players from various teams gathered at Shinhan Bank. (Han) Chaejin unnie was a player I’ve been guessing for a long time, and (Kim) Sooyeon unnie was originally a friendly player. Also, we tried to unite all the newly joined players. Above all, the director worked hard to lead us well.
The playing time per game was 16 minutes and 42 seconds, but he performed excellently for his playing time.
(Lee Kyung-eun recorded 5.88 points, 1.88 assists and 1.88 rebounds per game in the 2019-2020 season)

Both the general manager and coach who recruited me have left. I was so sorry to Shinhan Bank for bringing me. Because of that, I ate my heart more strongly. I wanted to hear that “Shinhan Bank did a really good job bringing Lee Kyung-eun.” That’s why 1 minute and 1 second was so earnest, and I think that remained as a record that wasn’t bad.

An unbreakable team
Shinhan Bank’s transformation was successful. Shinhan Bank, which succeeded in the change, gained confidence. Both the coaching staff and the players did. The reason why the 2020-2021 season performance was better than the 2019-2020 season.
As a result, Shinhan Bank went to the playoffs for the first time in three years after the 2017-2018 season. Although they suffered 2 losses to Cheongju KB Stars, Shinhan Bank established their own colors such as ‘sticky defense’, ‘quick development of attacks’, and ‘confident shooting’.
Coach Jeong Sang-il voluntarily resigned due to health problems, but coach Guna Dan, who was promoted to command tower, continued to embody the color of Shinhan Bank. Advance to the playoffs in the 2021-2022 season. I fought until the end with Asan Woori Bank, my opponent. Even so, Shinhan Bank’s transformation was successful.

In the 2020-2021 season, they made it to the playoffs.
Personally, I was not satisfied. I didn’t contribute much to the team. I regretted ‘if it hadn’t been painful…’.
But getting into the playoffs was very encouraging. Our team went to the playoffs after a long time, and I also played spring basketball for the first time since the 2011-2012 championship game.
Although manager Jeong Sang-il voluntarily resigned, Shinhan Bank went to the playoffs in the 2021-2022 season.
The manager and coaches have done well, but the players have not changed. We knew each other well and played basketball, and our teamwork was tight. I think that was the biggest. Of course, there was also a solid ace named Danbi Kim.
Shinhan Bank, which had a strong sense of defeat, became an unbreakable team.
Coach Jeong Sang-il stepped down in the middle, but coach Gunadan and coach Lee Hwi-gul were all people who had been with coach Jeong Sang-il. In addition, the existing coach Chaejin and I, (Kang) Gyeri, (Yu) Seunghee, and (Kim) Areumi know the coach’s basketball style well. And with everyone’s willingness to try, I think we’ve become a team that won’t collapse.

Another change and realization
Shinhan Bank cruised. They threatened the existing strong players with a new color. However, Shinhan Bank’s transformation did not end there. However, the nature of the change was different.
It was not a positive change. Danbi Kim, a franchise star and ace, left Shinhan Bank after acquiring FA (free agent) qualifications. In addition, Han Eomji, a promising forward, also wore the Busan BNK Some uniform after obtaining FA qualification. It seemed that the strength of shock and surprise that the players would feel would count.
Of course, Shinhan Bank did not see a power outage. Sonia Kim was designated as Danbi Kim’s reward player, and Kim Jin-young was recruited as Han Eomji’s reward player. The ball released by FA also wore a Shinhan Bank uniform.
However, the key players changed all at once. I had to set everything up anew. Similar situation to the 2019-2020 season. Both Shinhan Bank and Lee Kyung poured more sweat into the summer of 2022. Lee Kyung-eun realized a lot in the process.

Danbi Kim transferred to Woori Bank. I think the players were also very surprised.
He was the focal point of the team and the star of the franchise. Everyone must have thought at least once, ‘What would I do without (Kim) Danbi?’ Me too.
But that’s Danbi’s choice. I don’t think it can be helped. Instead, newly joined Sonia Kim, Jinyoung Kim, and Gooseul tried to fill the void left by Danbi. I think that kind of effort has become a new strength for our team.
As you said, a lot of new players have joined. A similar situation occurred in the 2019-2020 season.
I think the 2019-2020 season was more difficult. It was the first time that both the coach and the players came together. But now it’s different. In the presence of existing players, new players have been added. Of course, there were difficulties at first, but there are players who can tell the color of our team. I still lack a lot, but I think it’s easier than before.
It seems that the role of Lee Kyung-eun as a player was important.
I think the role of all the players was important, not just me. Also, the coach gave each player a role that fits their characteristics well. The players also tried to follow the coach’s instructions well.
Also, if each other is only greedy for their own strengths, the team can collapse. For example, if players with strong offensive tendencies collide with each other because of their own greed, the team can see anger. It’s not like our team didn’t have that, but everyone tried to throw away their own greed. For the sake of the team, we tried to become one. So I think I realized a lot during this off-season.

New colors, still goals
The newly joined players had to blend into Shinhan Bank’s colors, and both the existing resources and the newly joined players needed time to understand each other. The reason why Shinhan Bank went through a lot of trial and error in the beginning of the season.
However, after some time has passed, Shinhan Bank is going straight with a new color. Like the previous two seasons, you can aim for both ‘third place in the regular league’ and ‘playoff’. If the new color is maximized, Shinhan Bank can dream of a higher goal than before. Lee Kyung is also looking at a higher place than before.

The beginning of the season was trial and error.
Coach Guna Dan’s basketball was different from the basketball he had been learning since he was a child. To put it simply, the 5 people on the court need to know exactly the formation, movement and role of the entire team. No matter where you go, you can do your part.
It was very difficult for me at first too. It would have been the same for the new players. So this off-season I practiced more than I did in the previous off-season and watched more videos. I put it together to the point of getting tired of it.
It feels like a new color is coming out little by little.
The coach pointed out to the players in detail what needs to be fixed, and the players also tried to fix it. Most of all, he did a lot of dedication to the team, such as rebounding and dirty work. I think the content of the game got better and better because I abandoned the personal greed I mentioned earlier.
If Shinhan Bank maintains its current performance, it can aim for the playoffs once again.
All teams list their goal before the opening as ‘getting into the playoffs’. So are we. I think if you work hard in each match, you will be able to achieve the first goal. And, to put it mildly, I also want to go to the championship match. (laughs)
What do I have to do for the rest of the season?
I think the more I play the season, the more homework I have. The most urgent task is to reduce turnover. At the beginning of the season, I thought, ‘We’re out because we don’t match’, but now I think the players are turning over because of their haste. If you don’t reduce those points, you can’t show good performance. I think the other detailed elements will be handled by the director.

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