“I finally try something I couldn’t do when I was young (laughs).” Heo Il-young (38, 195cm), a veteran shooter from Seoul SK, managed to play in all games after a lot of hard work. It was even more meaningful because it was a record achieved when SK faced a crisis.
Heo Il-young participated as a substitute member in the 2022-2023 SKT Adot Professional Basketball regular league home game against Wonju DB held at Jamsil Student Gymnasium on the 29th, contributing to SK’s 86-75 victory by recording 7 points and 6 rebounds. SK won all 6 rounds and finished the regular league in 3rd place.
Heo Il-young, who was nominated by the Daegu Orions (currently Goyang Carrot) as the second overall pick in the 2009 rookie draft, is a veteran who has played 556 regular league games. This is a record tied for 30th with Kim Byeong-cheol (former Orions). If he plays more than 44 games next season, he will step on the 600 game high, which only 18 have achieved so far.
However, it was the first time he played in all games this season, his 13th season in his debut. Is it because it achieved a meaningful record? Heo Il-young received applause from his teammates under the leadership of coach Jeon Hee-chul at the last team meeting before the game.
Heo Il-young laughed, saying, “I finally try something I couldn’t do when I was young.” It feels so good. I am happy that the team has done well,” he said.
There were often disappointing seasons. Last season, the first season after transferring to SK, missed only one game due to the aftermath of Corona 19, and in the first two seasons of Orions’ debut with Daegu as their hometown, only 5 games were vacated. However, the 2011-2012 season, the first season after the Orions moved to Goyang, only played 30 games. Excluding military discharge and early termination (2019-2020 season) due to Corona 19, this is the only season in which Heo Il-young played less than 40 games.스포츠토토
Heo Il-young said, “In the 2011-2012 season, I was away for a long time because of a crack in my rib. After his return, he injured his ankle and took another break. When he was young, there were regrettable moments related to participating in all games, but it is rewarding to achieve it even belatedly.”
The meaning was doubled as he appeared in all games when SK was in crisis. In SK, Ahn Young-jun enlisted earlier this season, and Choi Jun-yong played only 26 games due to a sole injury. As a result, Heo Il-young digested an average of 25 minutes and 45 seconds, recording 9.4 points, 3-point shots, 1.2 and 4 rebounds, helping SK to advance to the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Coach Jeon Hee-cheol said, “(Ahn) Young-jun’s enlistment and (Choi) Jun-yong’s injury overlapped, so it was a difficult season to start. If (Kim) Seon-hyung and (Heo) Il-yeong were also injured, it would have been impossible to accumulate such a multiplier. Thanks to them digesting the entire game, I was able to fight for second place until the last game.”
Although they were pushed out of goal difference with Changwon LG and finished in 3rd place, SK’s momentum is fierce. The 6th round was decorated with a victory, and the warm-up was completed before the playoffs. Choi Jun-yong, who has been away for over a month, will also return in the playoffs.
If Carrot pays the subscription fee normally, SK’s opponent in the 6th place is 6th place KCC. Heo Il-young said, “I expected to be able to overturn the ranking with LG, but it was not easy. We have to play from the 6th round, but KCC is a tricky team. (Heo) Woong has returned, but Junyong will soon be returning to us as well. He will be able to make the playoffs with better power,” he said, expressing his anticipation.