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Dunking his way to the S. Korean national team: High school hoops star Yeo Jun-seok Updated: 2021-02-15 05:05:47 KST

He's strong, he's fast and he's big.
"Monster high schooler" Yeo Jun-seok has already been called up to South Korea's national basketball team.

"I couldn't believe my selection at first when my friends told me the news. They started joking around and teasing me, like 'You of all people?'"

The 18-year-old stands 203 centimeters tall with an even longer wingspan.
His standing vertical jump?
A whopping 83 centimeters higher than the NBA average of 73, enabling him to reach heights of almost three-and-a-half meters after a good run up.
It's no wonder Yeo's go-to move is the slam dunk

"Dunking's the best. Flashy dunks can change the flow of a game in an instant. They boost my team's morale while discouraging the other team."

Yeo returned early last year from a year of elite training at the NBA Global Academy in Australia, where he improved his perimeter defense.
But he says the key lesson he learned was building a more aggressive mentality.

"Unlike how it is in Korea, trash talking during play was normal there and foreign players openly expressed their frustration when their game felt off."

Rather than playing college ball, many say Yeo should head straight to the Korea Basketball League, or abroad, maybe even to the NBA.

"Playing abroad is number one on my list but if the chance doesn't come, wouldn't it be best I go pro here early?"

For Yeo, though, it's not just about self-development.
Basketball in Korea has lagged behind other sports in popularity for quite some time and the teenager believes the solution is to expand overseas

"The KBL is one thing but what's really needed for basketball to reach new heights in the country is players taking their talents overseas. It'll spark more interest in the sport."

Yeo Jun-seok has big dreams and perhaps that's just what Korean basketball needs.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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