“I am not at the level to participate in the selection of new players.”
This is an evaluation made by a club official who participated in the 2022~203 WKBL new player selection tryout towards Kiana Smith (23·176cm).
On the 16th, 22 people who dreamed of becoming professional basketball players took on the challenge at the tryout of the new player selection held at Dowon Gymnasium in Incheon. The 22 players were divided into three teams, white, gold, and purple, respectively, and showed off their skills in front of officials from six clubs.
The most notable player of the day was, by far, Smith. Smith, a graduate of the University of Louisville, USA, is a guard who averaged 12 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in NCAA Division 1 last season. Smith was then drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks with the 4th (16th overall) pick in the WNBA Draft. In her debut season, she averaged 2.6 points and a 27.8 percent three-point percentage.
Smith showed off his individual skills by throwing a floater following the behind-the-scenes dribble, and when the defense was focused, he turned the ball to the players around him and created a scoring opportunity. In the situation ahead of the defense, he succeeded in making a three-point shot, showing a strong presence while playing for a short time.
An official from a club explained, “It is difficult to judge exactly how much skill Smith has because he is playing against young players,” he said.
Another official said, “You can’t judge everything just by looking at the tryout performance, but he’s already played on a stage called the best in the world.” “The ball handling and shooting look excellent.”
Smith was born in California, USA. Since Smith has a Korean mother (Mr. Choi Won-seon), he was able to participate in the WKBL rookie draft. WKBL allows at least one parent to participate in the draft if at least one parent currently has Korean nationality, or if a player who has Korean nationality has never been registered with the Korea Basketball Association.
Samsung Life, who has the first pick in this draft, has already put Smith on the spot.
Incheon = Reporter Jeong Pil-jae [email protected]
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