Lee Hyun-jung to enter NBA rookie draft in June
Korean basketball player Lee Hyun-jung will enter the NBA rookie draft in June as he looks to become only the second Korean ever to play in the top U.S. league.
Lee, a wing for the Davidson College Wildcats, wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday that he is planning to enter the draft in June and is currently looking to hire an agent and management.
“After putting some serious thoughts into the next chapter of my basketball career,” Lee wrote, “I have decided to turn pro and will be entering the NBA draft this June. I will be hiring an agent and management company which I’d like to announce soon.”
Lee has been touted as a potential second-round pick in the draft for the last few months, having been a key part of the Wildcats squad this season averaging 15.8 points and six rebounds per game.
Lee was realistic about the difficulties of entering the draft in his Instagram post, but said he was excited for the opportunity.
“I don’t know what will happen to me and where I will be in the next few months but I’m training very hard every day to get better and stronger,” he wrote. “I’m so excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA.”
Lee is looking to follow in the footsteps of Ha Seung-jin, the only Korean ever to play in the NBA. Ha was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2004 draft, staying with the team until 2006. Ha returned to Korea to play in the KBL in 2008 and remained active until his retirement in 2019.
Both of Lee’s parents have had basketball careers: His mother Seong Jeong-a won silver with the Korean team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and his father Lee Yun-hwan played semi-professional basketball before becoming a coach.
Playing for the Wildcats also comes with a basketball pedigree — notable former players include two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]