Our first microbe is KU captain Park Mubin (G, 187 cm). Considered one of the BIG 3 in this draft (Park Mubin, Moon Jung-hyun, and Yoo Yoo-sang), let’s dig into his basketball life.
Dad, DB, and Kim Jae-hyun. Park Mubin’s basketball life
Park Mubin was introduced to basketballs at a young age by his father, who was a fellow basketball player. Living in Wonju, he enrolled in a DB Junior Promise basketball class in the first grade at the suggestion of his parents and friends. Although he treated basketball as just a hobby, Park distinguished himself early on and won several championships.
“In the fourth grade, I experienced many championships, including the KBL tournament, and in the sixth grade, I remember winning the overall championship without losing a single game in all competitions. In fact, until the fifth grade, I was a little nervous before games, but after gaining confidence in the sixth grade, I don’t think I’ve ever been nervous.”
Park, who led the DB junior prom with Kim Jae-hyun (G, sophomore), who is currently playing at Korea University, received offers from the Kwangsinjung. However, his parents’ disapproval forced him to give up the sport and focus on his studies as a regular student. Nevertheless, Park’s passion for the sport was rekindled when he heard about Jae-hyun’s success as an elite basketball player.
“Every time I heard about (Jaehyun) Kim, my dream of becoming a basketball player became clearer. I told my parents that I wanted to play elite basketball, and they allowed me to play basketball alongside my studies. I wanted to play basketball so badly that I maintained a 90 average until my second year of middle school (laughs).”
Basketball at a late age, Taekwondo marks forget impatience and slumps
“With my parents’ permission, I looked for a middle school with a basketball team. I was in my second year of middle school at the time, so it wasn’t too late. Whimunjung and Bae Jaejoong recommended that I be paid because of my short game, but Jung Byung-ho, a teacher at Hongdae University, said he would help me challenge my career without payment, which was the biggest reason I chose Hongdae University.”
Park started his elite journey at a relatively late age, taking to the court in earnest in the third grade of middle school. His team wasn’t considered a powerhouse at the time, but they won their first tournament and went on to win many more.
Park later went on to attend Hongdae Bugo, a high school affiliated with Hongdae Bugo. As soon as he started playing basketball, he swept the national championships, but there was a crisis. As soon as he entered high school, he suffered injuries to both his hamstrings and thigh muscles. The long gap in his basketball career, which started later than most, meant that Park was bound to have some tough days.
“I think the hardest moment in my basketball career was probably my freshman year, when I felt impatient with my friends’ performance, and I was frustrated with the back-to-back injuries upon my return. Fortunately, I was able to turn the corner when I was selected for the age-group national team after my return, and I won three titles in my senior year of high school.”
From #Korea University prospect to the heart of the Tiger Army
After leading Hongdae University and Hongdae Bugo to their heyday as ace players, Park Mubin headed to Korea University. He considered several top universities, but the advice of his gifted coach Lee Moo-jin and the presence of legendary coach Joo Hee-jeong in the same position led him to KU.
Meanwhile, Park experienced a downturn shortly after enrolling at KU. Tournaments were canceled due to COVID-19, and he had to take another long break due to a stress fracture in his shin. After his sophomore year, both his record and performance were on an upward curve, but after two bitter losses against Yonsei in his first two years at Korea University, Park began to sharpen his knives.
“For two years, it was messy because of Corona, and I think I had some unsatisfactory seasons. After sharpening my knives, I had a really good season last year, and I was happy to win both matches against Yonsei, and I really remember the first high-scoring match.”
“I also remember the college league and the MBC boat, but I think the Koyeon game made me so happy that I will remember it even on my deathbed. In fact, the Koyeon game was a big part of the reason why I chose KU, but when I actually played, I was able to experience much more support and heat than I expected. I didn’t envy the NBA stars until then (laughs).”
Park Moo-bin on his aspirations: “Focusing on what the team wants to play rather than the order of play”
“Actually, at the end of my senior year of high school, there were a lot of rumors about me being an early entry, and I actually thought about it. Even after I decided to go to college, I still wanted to try my hand at the pros after a year or two, but after I got into Korea University, I was so happy and satisfied with my life that I never once thought about it, and that’s still the case today.”
Park’s fast, explosive offense and star quality have made him a candidate for early entry every season. After winning MVPs and championships for his offensive prowess in middle school and high school, he took a ten-minute step up in college, proving his defense and work ethic. In the end, Park, who was a hot commodity in the draft, decided to try his hand at the professional stage after four years.
“It may be my strength and weakness, but I pride myself on being a player who can sacrifice for the team’s performance rather than for personal greed. I’m confident that I can do whatever the team needs me to do, whether it’s shooting, defense, or fast breaks. I’m a very introverted person normally, but when I step onto the court, I turn into a fighter.” 안전놀이터
“I know a lot of people say that I’m a BIG 3, but I don’t have any greed for a spot. I don’t want to go to a certain team, I just want to prepare myself to play the role that the team needs me to play. I think it’s a player’s role to do what the team needs, and that’s what I have to figure out. But if it’s personal, I would like to play for a team that gives me a lot of opportunities and trusts me (laughs).”
In his basketball career, which started later than others, Park has shone brightly as a protagonist in every moment. It will be interesting to see if he can prove his worth in the professional arena, as he continues to improve season after season.