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The DB’s acquisition of Kim Young-hyun (33, 186 cm) paid off in the first game.

The Wonju DB won 110-89 in their first meeting of the season against the Goyang Sono of the 2023-2024 Korean Professional Basketball League at the 텍사스홀덤 Goyang Sono Gymnasium on Nov. 22.

The victory was led by a triple-double from Dedrick Lawson, who has been playing with Sono head coach Kim Seung-ki, and double-digit scoring support from five other domestic players, including Choi Seung-wook, Lee Sun Albano, Park In-woong, and Kim Jong-gyu.

As much as Lawson was in the spotlight, there was another player who shined behind the scenes, and that was Kim Young-hyun.

Kim finished with 11 points, one rebound, and three assists in 23:25 of action. After joining DB as a free agent from the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis the previous season, Young-hyun proved why DB needed him in the first game of the season.

Coach Kim Joo-sung said in a pre-match interview that he would send Kim Young-hyun out first to stop Jeon Sung-hyun. It was a matchup between Sono’s No. 1 domestic option, Jeon Sung-hyun, and one of the KBL’s best 3&D resources, Kim Young-hyun. It was a matchup of spear and shield, with neither side backing down.

Kim Young-hyun is an ace stopper from his time with the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis, where he was known for shutting down opponents’ main scorers. In addition to stopping goals, he can also completely disrupt the flow of an opponent’s offense with his stingy defense.

This was the case against Sono. Kim Young-hyun executed his orders from the bench, closely marking Jeon Sung-hyun and not allowing him to score easily. Although Jeon finished with 21 points, the second-highest total on the team behind Jarrod Jones, he was unable to get the timing, balance, and steps he wanted.

Kim Young-hyun’s tight pressing defense left Jeon frustrated throughout the game.

After such a perfect performance on defense, Kim Young-hyun continued his Altaoran-like performance on offense. Whenever his team needed to score, he would hit a three-pointer at the right time to disrupt Sono’s flow.

On the night, Kim shot a whopping 75% from three-point range. He didn’t seem to be greedy, taking shots only when he had a clear open shot, and his pure offense led to high efficiency.

As many fans know, Kim’s signature nickname is Gora, and he uses his loud voice and presence on the court to keep the energy level high. In the game against Sono, he was also seen taking care of his younger teammates, often calling them out on their mistakes.

Kim’s 11 points in the first game at DB were just five points shy of his career high. Notably, he has continued to maintain his strong form against Sono.

On Dec. 10, he showed a confident performance against Goyang, setting a new career-high in assists, and continued his momentum on this day, setting a new career-high in assists in the opening win.

DB revealed that when they signed Kim Young-hyun, they didn’t just bring him in for his defense. And both the club and the player succeeded in fulfilling each other’s expectations from the very beginning, putting a smile on their faces.

DB has been enjoying the benefits of free agency to the point where it is said that they can’t get enough of the flavor. Let’s see if they can continue that momentum in their upcoming game against LG on the 26th.

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