“I think he’s one of the most underrated figures as a player. I think there are a lot of people who only recognize his career as a leader and his playing days as a so-so player, but that’s definitely not the case. During his time at Chung-Ang University, he was a rival to Yonsei’s Lee Sang-min, and he was the one who put his alma mater on the map with his own style of play and unique leadership. A charge leader…, yes, that’s exactly the image he had.”
When I asked Lee Heung-seop (51‧198cm), the Wonju DB secretary general, who he thought was underappreciated among retired basketball players, he mentioned Kim Seung-ki (51‧182cm), the head coach of the Goyang Sono Skygunners, without the slightest hesitation.
“In the professional arena, he played as both a starter and a sixth man, but when you look at his career, it’s hard not to think of him as a waste of time. You know, in the early to mid-1990s when you were playing, basketball was so popular, and there were so many great guards, but you stood out. There were many times when I felt that he was really good even though he was a senior at another university.”
Some may ask, “Was Kim Seung-ki that good when he was in the league?” as Lee mentioned. As they say, professionals are judged by their results, and although he did well in the league, he was more used to being a sixth man than a starter, and his career is not thick, and he doesn’t have a career-high season to boast about.
However, he was nicknamed “TurboGuard” in college for a reason: his high energy level and high volume of activity made him the center of attention. As a junior at Yongsan High School, he dominated high school basketball, winning four titles (Spring League, Presidential, Ssangyong, and National Championships), and was the captain of the 1990 FIBA ASIA U-18 team.
When he entered Chung-Ang University, he quickly made his presence felt and earned a reputation as a leader in defense and fast breaks. At the time, many did not hesitate to consider Kim as one of the best No. 1s in the university alongside Yonsei’s Lee Sang-min. In the quarterfinals of the 1993-94 Basketball Grand Prix, the team upset powerhouse Kia Motors, which was trying to win its sixth consecutive title, to reach the semifinals.
As a traditional powerhouse, Chung-Ang University had its own periods of dominance: the era of Han Ki-beom, Kim Yoo-taek, Heo Jae, and Kang Dong-hee; the era of Cho Woo-hyun, Song Young-jin, Kim Joo-sung, Hwang Jin-won, Im Jae-hyun, and Shin Dong-han; and the era of Kang Byung-hyun, Yoon Ho-young, Park Sung-jin, Kim Sun-hyeong, and Oh Se-geun. Chungang University under Kim Seung-ki was not as good. Yonsei with Moon Sung-eun, Lee Sang-min, Woo Ji-won, Kim Hoon, and Seo Jang-hoon, and Korea University with Jeon Hee-chul, Kim Byung-chul, Hyun Joo-yup, Yang Hee-seung, and Shin Ki-sung bisected the university stage in a two-power system.
However, Chung-Ang University was not easily seen by anyone at the time. Led by field commanders Kim Seung-ki, Kim Young-man, and Yang Kyung-min, the duo of Hong Sa-bung, Kim Hee-sun, and Cho Dong-dong stood out as dark horses with their strong organizational skills. As mentioned earlier, the team often stumbled against Yonsei and Korea University, including knocking out Kia Motors in the quarterfinals. “They’re not the strongest, but they’re capable of taking down any team,” was the assessment of Jungang University at the time.
Kim Seung-ki was a dual guard, and while he wasn’t the type of player who could command an entire team with his wide vision and precise passing, he was able to bravely drive into the enemy’s zone and create openings. However, at the time, his style was not in the spotlight. It was a time when players like Kang Dong-hee and Lee Sang-min, who dominated the game with their passing game, were considered true point guards.
“When I think of Kim Seung-ki, the first thing that comes to mind is his tremendous strength. There are many fast 1s in the past and now, and Kim Seung-ki was also very fast. In addition to that, his power was really good, and I don’t know if there were any guards who could compete with him. He was no match for any forward in terms of strength. He’s also got an aggressive mindset, so when we’re playing close defense at the front, it’s really hard for the other guard to even take a few steps forward while dribbling. When I talk to people who’ve played against him, they say it’s almost suffocating to have someone as fast as him standing in front of them like an old-growth tree.”
Even without Lee’s words, Kim’s strength was well known. An anecdote about his failure to win a wrestling match against Hyun Joo-yop, who was rumored to be the best trader on the national team, is still told to this day. Considering that Hyun Joo-yeop was a giant at 195 centimeters, it’s a testament to Kim’s majesty. In addition to Kim Seung-gi, Hong Sabung and Kim Hee-sun were also sleek and well-groomed guards, so the defense in front of the center line must have been terrifying for opponents.
For a player like Kim Seung-ki, who has a clear style of play, it is important to have compatibility with the team and leader. Although he was not without a team uniform and a leader’s uniform, some people express regret that he should have started his career in a team that played and ran around him from the beginning. That’s because the expectations were high.바카라사이트
One of the things that stood out most about Kim in the pros was his refusal to give up. Usually, when a game is decided or tilted in one direction, even the best players tend to slow down a bit. Kim was different, often gritting his teeth and playing until the final buzzer sounded. The final game of the basketball championship against Kia Motors, which he played for Samsung, is a prime example.
After Heo Jae’s big play opened up a huge lead, the Samsung players were walking around the court shaking their heads. However, Kim Seung-ki continued to make energetic breakthroughs and hit outside shots as if he was in a close game. He was also serious on defense. That continued in the pros.
At one point, he made back-to-back steals and three-pointers in garbage time, causing the opposing coach to send his starters back out on the court in a panic. Kim Seung-ki, a natural leader who led with his own colors and did his best without giving up in any situation, is also making a name for himself as a leader, and he is predicting a fresh wave with his new team, SONO, next season.