‘Daughter of Kookmin Bank star Cho Moon-joo’ Ko Hyun-ji selected by KB Stars with the 1st overall pick in the WKBL Draft

Cho commanded the court in a 텍사스홀덤 Kookmin Bank jersey and a national team jersey during his unemployment basketball days. He used his skills to make quick moves inside. His name is imprinted on old basketball fans.

His daughter, Supia High School forward Ko Hyun-ji (182.2 centimeters), was selected by the Cheongju KB Stars with the No. 1 overall pick in the Women’s Professional Basketball Draft.

Ko was selected by KB with the No. 1 overall pick in the Korea Women’s Basketball League (WKBL) 2023-2024 Draft on Thursday afternoon at Cheongju Gymnasium in Chungcheongbuk-do.

As a high school sophomore last year, Ko was already the most highly touted player in the draft as she was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Wangjoong Wangjeon Girls’ High School Division of the Korean Middle and High School Basketball Weekend League.

She also represented her country at the FIBA U-17 Women’s Basketball World Cup and FIBA U-18 Asian Women’s Basketball Championship last year.

At the combine, which was held earlier in the day to measure the height, weight, and physical abilities of all players in the draft, Ko ranked first in wingspan (187.0 centimeters) and max vertical jump (73.4 centimeters). His max vertical jump of 303.4 centimeters is the best in WKBL history.

During the morning draft ranking ceremony, KB head coach Kim Wan-soo called out Ko’s name as the No. 1 pick.

Wearing KB’s yellow jersey, Ko said, “I thank God for the honor of being the No. 1 pick. I want to thank KB officials, and I want to thank my parents and sister for raising me and tell them I love them.”

After crying for a while, he said, “I’m honored to come to KB as the number one. Personally, I didn’t think I was lucky this year, but I feel like I did something to come to KB.” He vowed to quickly adapt to the team and become a player who will help the team and shine like his mom.

KB coach Kim Wan-soo, who hugged Ko Hyun-ji, explained the reason for his nomination, saying, “I’ve been watching him since elementary school, not just for a year or two, and I think he has enough potential to grow.”

“I think he can become a player who represents the country if he continues to improve,” he said.

Ko’s mother, Cho Moon-ju, joined Kookmin Bank in 1984, when it was an unemployed team, and was a starting center for the national team that competed in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and 1990 Beijing Asian Games. It’s a mother-daughter duo playing for Kookmin.

Busan BNK, which traded its first-round draft pick to Bucheon Hana OneQ for Kim Sion and exercised its second-round pick, selected Hyosung Girls’ High School forward Kim Ji-won (176.5 centimeters).

Third-ranked Incheon Shinhan Bank selected Heo Yoo-jung (173.5 centimeters), a guard from Bundang Management High School who represented her country at the FIBA U-17 Women’s Basketball World Cup last year.

At No. 4, Yongin Samsung Life Insurance selected Cheongju Girls High School forward Lee Yena (177.5 centimeters), while BNK, which exercised its pick right once again at No. 5, selected Bundang Business High School forward Park Da-won (179.2 centimeters).

Finally, at No. 6, Asan Woori Bank called the name of Bundang Business School center Byun Ha-jung (179.9 cm).

Hana OneQ, which exercised its first pick in the second round, selected Sangju Girls High School forward Shin Tae-hee (178.1 cm).

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