Will Son Yu-chan (18, 183cm) and Lee Chan-young (18, 194cm) be able to wear the same uniform again?
The 53rd Fall National Men’s and Women’s Middle and High School Basketball Federation Tournament was held in Haenam-gun, Jeollanam-do from the 12th to the 21st. In the boys’ high school division, Yongsan High School, led by Lee Yu-jin, Lee Kwan-woo, and Kim Seung-woo, won the championship.
The honor of best player naturally went to Lee Yu-jin, who was on the winning team. However, in the personal record category, the two friends who were eliminated in the finals and semifinals swept the competition, causing a reversal. The main characters are Lee Chan-young of Songdo High School and Son Yu-chan of Hongdae High School.
All players say that grade or age does not matter when on the court. Of course, in order to win, they growl without mercy at the same time as the tip-off, but that only lasts for 40 minutes.
When the final buzzer sounds, even though they wear different uniforms, they return as best friends who hug and encourage each other and are willing to even offer their shoulders as if they never did before.
This is especially true for Son Yu-chan and Lee Chan-young, who have maintained a close friendship since middle school.
In 2023, the two players, who are both 18 years old and the same age, are currently leading the team as key players for their teams Songdo High School and Hongik University High School. Son Yu-chan averaged 18.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in the fall league game, and Lee Chan-young averaged 29.8 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 3.2 steals.
Their positions are different: guard and forward. Their play styles and personalities are completely opposite. However, the two players were not limited by these issues and performed well in all weathers, growing into a perfect fit for the team.
Son Yoo-chan, whom we met after the competition ended, said, “I made it to the finals, but I was so disappointed that I was frustrated on the brink of winning. He felt like he would win just thinking about the moment he was ahead in the first half. Yongsan High School’s defense was so solid that it actually filled the court. Still, I am satisfied with the assist award,” he said in his closing remarks.
Lee Chan-young said, “Before the competition started, my goal was to be in the semifinals. Even though we didn’t make it to the finals, losing to (Son) Yoo-chan’s Hongik University High School, it’s okay because we achieved our goal. “I think this is a competition where I learned, realized, and gained a lot,” he said.
Son won the Assist Award after totaling 51 assists during the tournament. Lee Chan-young also won the scoring, rebounding, and steals awards, amassing 149 points and 67 rebounds by the quarterfinals. With the exception of the defense award, the two best friends took home all the individual awards.
Lee says, “The scoring award is something I was expecting (laughs). But I didn’t think about the rebounding award at all,” and Son Yoo-chan, who was next to him, said, “I expected the assist award as well,” causing the scene to burst into laughter.
The two players, who are closer than anyone else, date back to the age of 14. Lee Chan-young naturally transferred from Sangju High School, where he was studying at Wonju and Pyeongwon High School, next to Son Yoo-chan. Lee Chan-young, who played basketball in Sangju, moved to Wonju due to his parents’ influence.메이저사이트
The two players, who were different from rice cakes, made a name for themselves as the Chan-Chan duo of Pyeongwonjoong and contributed to the team’s good performance. But a grim reality awaited them. The former Daesung High School basketball team had been abolished, and the two players could no longer play together in Wonju.
So Lee was first recruited to Songdo High School in Incheon. Since Songdo High used to receive all of its players from its affiliated middle school, Songdo Middle, Lee couldn’t help but feel proud and special.
“I still do, but my coach believes in me a lot. The free atmosphere is also very good. I was proud at first, but that’s a long time ago (laughs).”
Lee Chan-young left for Incheon and Son Yu-chan headed to Hongik University High School in Seoul. The reality of no elite basketball team in Wonju caused a separation between the two players. Currently, many people are working behind the scenes to create a basketball team in Wonju, but the situation is not easy.
In this competition, the players from Pyeongwon Middle School who lost among the three ‘winners’ will soon have to disperse. Son Yu-chan and Lee Chan-young also expressed regret over this reality.
Son Yu-chan said, “There are probably many players from Pyeongwon Middle School who are unable to go on to higher education. “Psychological stability cannot be ignored,” and Lee Chan-young said, “If we work together since middle school, the chemistry and atmosphere will get better. He added, “It is unfortunate that the synergy effect will get better as the years go by.”
The two players, who had a satisfactory second half with good results, are now moving up to their third year. And after one year, you have to fill out an application for college admission. Because each player’s position is different, there may be a situation where they wear the same uniform.
Son Yu-chan and Lee Chan-young were also satisfied as they pictured themselves playing for the same team again in their heads.
Son Yu-chan said, “If the situation allows, I want to play together. When he said, “Because we get along so well (laughter),” Lee Chan-young also responded, “Maybe because we’ve been working together for a long time, I think the synergy effect will work well.”
Although they are two players with outstanding skills, they have still never been selected for the youth national team. There was an opportunity, but COVID-19 got in the way. The two desperate players are now dreaming of being selected for the U18 national team at the same time.
Lee Chan-young said, “I hope I work hard and join the national team.” Son Yu-chan said, “I hope that day comes too.”
Lastly, we asked Son Yu-chan, who dreamed of becoming a basketball player in Wonju, a balance game-type question about the recent draft.
“The first and second picks in the rookie draft, which position would you choose?”
Without even a second of hesitation, Son Yu-chan confidently stated that he would be selected as second choice and win the Rookie of the Year award.
The two players are now full of confidence in the same position. Although he was confident, he did not forget humility. He said that he still realized his shortcomings through the competition. The two players, who showed off their strong friendship as well as their outstanding skills, ended the interview by sending sincere support to each other.