Can Cho Woo-sung (24, 206.1 cm) become the new third-round myth?
On February 22, the KBL announced that Seoul Samsung has re-signed internal free agent Cho Woo-sung. The terms of the contract are three years and 80 million won in compensation (72 million won in salary and 8 million won in incentives). Last year, Cho’s salary was 40 million won, so the increase is 100 percent.
In the 2021 KBL Rookie Player Draft, Cho was selected by Samsung with the first pick in the third round. Although he has good height, he has a short throwing arm and slow feet, but he is competitive under the basket. His strength allows him to block foreign players under the basket.
“As a first-time free agent, I didn’t know what to do. I started playing sports late, so I didn’t know many older brothers besides my teammates, so I was worried about what to do. (Lee) asked his brother, and he gave me a lot of advice. Thanks to that, it was easier than I thought,” he said of his first free agency.
“Actually, I thought the team might not look at me well because I got injured in January. But the office staff and the coach understood and felt sorry for me because I was injured while working hard for the team. They were very understanding. After I signed, the coach said, ‘Let’s have a good season, your physical condition is the most important thing, so don’t push yourself too hard, make sure you rehabilitate your back and then train with the team.” 스포츠토토
It’s not easy for third-round picks to get playing time and stay in the KBL for long. The longest serving third-round pick is Byung-kook Jung (retired). He was drafted by Incheon Electroland (now Gasworks) with the second pick in the third round of the 2007 draft and played professionally until 2019.
Despite the difficulty of even getting a chance, Cho appeared in 25 games last season, averaging 2.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.4 assists in 9:08 minutes. He even recorded a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) against KCC last year on Dec. 17. This was a first for the third-round pick.
Woo-sung Cho said, “Being a late round pick, it seems that even if you have the same record, you stand out from those in front of you. I was praised by people around me and my brothers at the time. I have to keep working hard and not get complacent. I try not to think about my ranking, but when you’re a round behind, you don’t get many opportunities to play. I was fortunate that the coach looked at me favorably, and I got a lot of opportunities because foreign players were injured,” he explained.
With three more seasons with Samsung, we’re curious to see if Cho will be able to create a third-round myth.