SEOUL SAMSUNG THUNDERS
Seoul Samsung Thunders are the most prestigious basketball team in the history of Korean basketball since its establishment in 1978. Samsung won their first championship the following year in 1979. Over the next 40 years, they won 25 championships before the Professional League launched in 1997, and two more during the 2000-2001 season and 2005-2006 season as a member of Korean Basketball League. In the 2010-11 season, Samsung Thunders became the first team to reach the playoffs for nine consecutive years and cemented themselves as the top of the league.
Going into the 2017-2018 KBL season, many predicted Samsung to be one of the top contenders for the championship. They were coming off a successful 2016-17 season in which the Thunders made it to the KBL finals and almost won the title. They added prized free agent Dong Uk Kim for more firepower on offense. But a devastating injury to Ra Gunah derailed Samsung’s once-promising season and hopes for another championship. Ra Gunah came back late in the season to make a push for the playoffs, but the damage was already done. Samsung could not overcome the big deficit in the standings and ended the season without a playoff berth.
Samsung is ready to regroup and once again contend for a championship. In 2018, the team will celebrate its 40th anniversary. With the right balance of veterans and young players, Samsung aspires to continue enriching the tradition of success with an Asia League championship.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
While the finish last season was disappointing, not all was lost. Samsung saw their young guns take big leaps as contributors. Lee Gwanhee who is known more for his defense became a reliable source of offense. Gwanhee set a career-high 40.1% from the 3pt line. What was once a weakness is now one of his greatest strengths. Lee Gwanhee was also the scoring champion at this past July’s Summer Super 8 and will look to reprise his role at The Terrific 12.
MOON TAE YOUNG / GREGORY STEVENSON
Finally, there’s fan favorite Gregory Stevenson also known as Moon Tae Young. He may be 40 years old, but that didn’t stop him from averaging 11 points per game and shooting nearly 40% from beyond the arch last year. He’s a former KBL champion, national team player and domestic player of the year. He’ll lead Samsung into The Terrific 12 looking to avenge last year’s elimination in The Super 8.
Cheon Gibeom is another young gem who made strides playing outstanding defense. He’s coming off his first season with the team and saw significant playing time. His control of the ball and high basketball IQ have him looking like the Point Guard of the future.
|0||Glenn Cosey||Shooting guard, Point guard||2/17/1992|
|1||Kim Tae Sul||Shooting guard, Point guard||8/13/1984|
|Cheon Gi Beom||Shooting guard, Point guard|
|5||Lee Gwan Hee||Shooting guard, Point guard||4/29/1988|
|6||Sung Ki Bin||Shooting guard, Point guard||7/15/1993|
|7||Choi Yun Ho||Power forward, Small forward||4/25/1986|
|8||Jung Jun Soo||Power forward, Small forward||10/29/1995|
|12||Kim Hyun Soo||Shooting guard, Point guard||1/31/1990|
|14||Kim Dong Uk||Power forward, Small forward||8/14/1981|
|15||Moon Tae Young||Power forward, Small forward||2/10/1978|
|17||Cha Min Seok||Power forward, Small forward||6/7/1988|
|23||Bae Kang Ryul||Power forward, Small forward||3/3/1992|
|32||Hong Sun Kyu||Centre||6/10/1994|
|Lee Sang Min||Head Coach|