In addition to aces, there are must-haves.
In the world, there are many things that happen. It’s important to stand out, but there are things that must happen on the sidelines.
The same goes for basketball. It’s important to have an ace who dominates the game, but there are other players who need to step up. With five people on the court, there must be someone to take the pressure off the ace.
In particular, you need to have a player who can be a focal point in any position. Having such a player is a must-happen for a team, which is why I’ve listed the players who must contribute as “MUST HAPPEN” for each team. There may be multiple players on each team, but for this article, I’m only going to list one player per team. (Please note that the selection criteria is based on the journalist’s opinion)
Samsung Life earned the first round pick for the second consecutive year in the 2021-2022 WKBL Draft. The coaching staff and the secretariat worked hard to build the future of the team.
In the 2021-2022 WKBL Draft, the team selected Lee Hae-ran (181 cm, F), who has good mobility and senses. For the 2022-2023 rookie class, the team reached out to foreign national Kiana Smith (177 cm, G). Knowing Samsung Life’s commitment, Kiana also chose to come to Korea. With the first overall pick, Samsung Life didn’t hesitate to select her.
Kiana showed her potential in college. At the University of Louisville, she played in NCAA Division 1 in 2021. She averaged 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists while shooting 36.7% (62/169) from three-point range. In March 2022, the team reached the NCAA Final Four.
Kiana can play ball handler or swingman. She is competitive from outside the three-point line. She could hit a kick-out pass after a breakaway and a three after a step-back. Her fast break offense was also sharp. Despite her short time in Korea, her teammates already trusted her.
Lee Ju-yeon (171 cm, G), who formed a backcourt duo with Kiana, said, “I’ve played against her in training, and her first step is fast and hard to block, and she has a good shot. It will be easy for me to take it away after I break through. He also has good dribbling skills. I’ll have less pressure when carrying the ball,” she said of her partnership with Kiana.
Underran, who played a lot of 2-on-2s with Kiana, said, “Even before Kiana came, the coach told me, ‘If she catches, you catch. She said, ‘If Kiana catches it, you need to be ready for a fastball, and then she will pass it over.’ So I tried to play an extra step. Also, even though we’ve only been together for an hour, I think her individual ability is definitely outstanding. I think she’s a big sister I can trust.” Lee echoed Lee’s sentiments. 보스토토 주소
Kiana had an outstanding performance at the beginning of the 2022-2023 season. She tried to synergize with the domestic players and showed her strengths of ball handling and shooting. Above all, she was flexible in dealing with the flow.
However, Kiana suffered a major setback on December 26, 2022, when she injured her left knee patella in a match against Asan Woori Bank. As a result, she was out for the season.