Woori point guard wins her second MVP award

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Woori point guard wins her second MVP award

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Chuncheon Woori Bank Hansae’s Park Hye-jin speaks after winning the WKBL regular season MVP on Thursday. [NEWSIS]

Chuncheon Woori Bank Hansae point guard Park Hye-jin is the Women’s Korea Basketball League (WKBL) MVP for the second straight season.

Park received 46 of 96 votes cast by basketball reporters Thursday at the 2014-5 WKBL Award Ceremony at 63 Convention Center in western Seoul. The 24-year-old beat out teammates Lim Young-hee (21 votes) and Yang Ji-hee (17 votes).

Park, 24, played in all 35 games this season and averaged 10.5 points, 3.1 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game to lead her club, Woori Bank, to its third straight regular season title. She was the league leader in playing time, averaging 36 minutes and five seconds per game.

“This isn’t an award that I should receive,” said Park. “Last year, I had a feeling I might win, so I was prepared for a speech, but this year, I didn’t. I guess the meaning for this award is to keep working hard.”

The 178-centimeter (5-foot-10) Park, who was the first draft pick before the 2008-9 season and selected as Rookie of the Year, won her first MVP last season, when she averaged 12.6 points, 5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

Jung Sun-min, a former WNBA player and now Bucheon KEB-Hana Bank assistant, has seven MVP awards, while retired center Chung Eun-soon and Cheongju KB Stars forward Byun Yeon-ha have three each.

Bucheon KEB-Hana Bank point guard Shin Ji-hyun was unanimously selected as Rookie of the Year. The 19-year-old averaged 5 points and 2.7 assists per game.

Coach of the Year went to Woori Bank’s Wi Sung-woo for the third consecutive time after his club won the regular season championship again. The 43-year-old coach now aims to win both regular season and championship series titles for the third straight time.

Woori Bank forward Charde Houston was Foreign Player of the Year, the first time the award has been given. The former WNBA All-Star averaged 16.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

Kang Lee-seul of KEB-Hana Bank, league’s best 3-point shooter at 47 percent, won the MIP (Most Improved Player) Award, while the Sixth Woman Award went to Kim Gyu-hee of the Incheon Shinhan Bank S-Birds.

The Yoon Duk-joo Award, given to player who made the best contribution to the team, went to Kim Dan-bi of the S-birds. Kim, the league’s highest paid player at 300 million won ($267,000), averaged 13.37 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [joo.kyungdon@joongang.co.kr]
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