“I tried not to compromise with myself.”
Veteran middle blocker Kim Hong-jeong, 37, is a strong moral support for KB Insurance. Her diligence in training and leadership on and off the court are enough to earn the respect of younger players.
You might not have seen him in the V-League. She was not selected by any team in the 2009 rookie draft 14 years ago. However, she was lucky enough to be selected by Samsung Fire to pursue her dream of playing. After waiting patiently for his chance, Kim made his professional debut in the 2011-12 season and went on to play more than 25 games each season. She proved that draft position is not always the answer.
He experienced a championship with Samsung Fire, and in 2013-14, while playing for Russia & Cash (now OK Financial Group), he played in every game of the league and scored triple digits for the first time since his debut. With his current team, KB Insurance, he served as team captain and was part of a dramatic championship run in the 2021-22 season. His volleyball life has had its ups and downs.
When we met at KB Insurance’s practice gym in Suwon on a recent match, Kim reflected on his volleyball career: “I came to this point thinking about one season, one season only. I’m now in my late 30s,” she laughs, “and there have always been difficult times. I’m so grateful to be able to play in this space right now. When I think back to when I was drafted, I’m happy that I’m doing this now,” he continued.
“I didn’t care about what other people thought of me, I set my own goals, and I didn’t compromise with myself. In the end, it was all about willpower, and I tried to overcome no matter what. I kept trying, and good results are coming,” she smiled.
Despite nagging injuries last season, Kim played 36 matches and recorded 140 points and 0.360 blocks per set. It was her first full-time season in the league in nine years, since the 2013-14 season when she played for Rush & Cash.
“Looking back at last season, I had some nagging injuries. I couldn’t train much. “But the team atmosphere was not good, and as a veteran, I was showing responsibility to the younger players. I tried to sacrifice myself for the team. Now I have a lot of help from the trainers, so I don’t have any problems. In the upcoming season, I want to finish the season without any injuries.”
KB Insurance finished sixth last season. It was a season of frustration for the team, which had enjoyed a glorious 2021-22 season with Keita Numori (real name Keita), finishing as runners-up in the Championship Finals. Going into the upcoming season, the assessment of KB Insurance is also sobering. There is no clear reinforcement and more departures than additions. Hwang Taek-eui and Na Kyung-bok have left the team to fulfill their national defense obligations, and the midfield is also a problem.
However, Kim Hong-jung says, “The people around me are worried, not concerned. It creates a bad feeling, a poisonous feeling. I’m starting with the attitude that I’m going to relax and learn. I grew more through the cup tournament. It’s important to prepare step by step,” he encouraged.
At the age of 37, the end of her career is fast approaching. Kim is aware of this.
“I think it’s the same for every athlete, but what I want to achieve at the end of my career is a championship. “I don’t want to be the senior who is criticized by the juniors,” he said. “I grew up looking up to the seniors, too. They were so good at what they were supposed to do, how they were supposed to act, and it was so nice to see. I realized from a young age that I should learn and do the same,” he said.
“I have to take better care of my body to be able to play well. I’m not going to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘When will I retire,’ but I’m going to do it as long as I can.”메이저사이트
Finally, Kim ended the interview by thanking the fans of Uijeongbu KB.
“The fans in Uijeongbu give us so much support. Our players are always grateful. We want to repay their support with good performances. We will do our best to prepare well for the season and make it a fun season for our fans.”