View Full Version : Next Year's #1....could have been in the draft this year.

06-16-2003, 11:12 AM
Ha Seung-Jin
Birthdate: 8/4/85
NBA Position: Center
Class: HS Junior
Ht: 7-3
Wt: 305
Hometown: Seoul, Korea
High School: Samil Commerce
2002 Stats

NBA Comparison: Yao Ming

Ha Sueng-Jin has Yao Ming like qualities, with enormous size, good dexterity and composure. His touch on his shot is good, making Ha another Asian bigman sensation. Plus he has the quickness and size to be a shot blocker and a defensive presence. Ha will be able to break new ground as the first Korean player to ever play in the NBA. Ha has stated that he will declare for the 2004 NBA draft. One very encouraging note is that Ha can play a game all the way through without getting winded. Which is impressive considering his age and enormous size. Possibly most astounding is that X-rays reveal that he is still growing!

On Jan 30th SFX group went to South Korea and tested Seung-jin's agility, ball-handling skills and shooting ability over two days. Seung-jin was given rave reviews by the group. Before the change in the NBA's International eligibility rule, Ha was not eligible for the 2003 NBA Draft. He planned to stay in South Korea for another year while he earned his high school degree. After which he would head to the the United States to train. No word on whether Ha's plans have changed due to the change in the rule, however it's likely that Ha will stay with the plan and train for the 2004 draft. If all goes well, Ha Seung-jin will be the first Korean to make it to the NBA. As a sophomore he led his high school team to a 22-0 record, averaging 27 points and 10 rebounds per game. He has led his team to four championship titles including one at the National Sports Festival in Cheju last November.

Basketball in his genes: Ha's father, Dong-ki who is 6-6 tall, was a former member of the Korean National team that placed second at the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games. Ha's sister, also an astonishing 6-6, had a successful basketball career.

Lee Yun-hwan (Seung-jin's High School coach) on Ha:
"Even with such imposing height, he is nimble and shrewd, keying rallies at both ends of the court. He can play a game all the way through without losing his wind."

"After building his frame to perfect condition, he will become a competitive player in the U.S. As you can see, he is still growing. He has enormous potential", said Choun Soo-gil, an Internet sports columnist and webmaster for the Korea Basketball Association.

Injury concerns: Players of Seung-jin's size are prime candidates for knee and foot injuries. With injuries having ended or limited the careers of countless bigmen including Ralph Sampson, Gheorge Muresan, Arvydas Sabonis, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and others. Both Ha's father and sister had successful basketball careers end prematurely due to injury. Staying healthy appears to be the biggest area of concern for him. "Health is the most important thing which my son should keep in mind," said Ha's 6-6 father Dong-ki.

Ha on his future:
"I will prevail on the court to realize what my father failed to accomplish. It's time for me to concentrate on practicing."