38 years, 319 days… Han Chae-jin writes new history as WKBL’s ‘oldest participant’

Han Chae-jin (Shinhan Bank) wrote a new record as the oldest (38 years, 319 days) in women’s professional basketball (WKBL) history the moment she played against BNK on the 27th. In the 2013-2014 season, she surpassed Tina Thompson (38 years, 314 days), who played for KDB. 먹튀검증

Han Chae-jin, whose WKBL debut alone exceeded 20 years, said in a phone call on the 25th, “When (her team juniors) kids say, ‘Sister, how do you spend 20 years?’, I said, ‘Now you can do it. But if she’s in season 20, isn’t she going through 20 non-seasons as well? Her younger siblings said, ‘She doesn’t know the season, but she can’t do 20 off-season,’” she said. “Her off-season strength training is really hard. She said, “It’s been 20 years, and I don’t think I can do it again if I ask her to do it again,” she laughed.

In fact, she was no different during the season. Chaejin Han held her court for an average of 28 minutes and 58 seconds per game until her last season. She averaged 32:39 over the 15 seasons since the 2007-2008 season when the WKBL switched to a single league system. In the 2012-2013 season, she participated in all 35 games in one season and digested her average of 39 minutes and 8 seconds, and was also called the ‘Iron Lady’.

Han Chae-jin also played in 18 of the 19 matches her team played this season, and she ran for 25 minutes and 24 seconds on the court, showing her performance for forgetting her age. She said, Han Chae-jin said, “There are times when the kids forget my age when I’m with (team juniors) kids. In fact, sometimes I forget my age,” she laughed.

Han Chae-jin started her professional career in 2003 at Hyundai, the predecessor of Shinhan Bank, after graduating from Seongdeok Women’s University in Seoul. At the beginning of her debut, her Shinhan Bank was lined with national team players such as Jeon Joo-won (51) and Jeong Seon-min (49), so Han Chae-jin mainly played as a sixth woman. When Han Chae-jin qualified as a free agent (FA) ahead of the 2008-2009 season, he said, “I want to play more time,” and moved the team to Kumho Life Insurance, the predecessor of KDB.

Han Chae-jin, who said, “I ran enough to have no regrets,” faced a crisis in his career as KDB faced a crisis of dissolution. In the end, in the 2018-2019 season, when OK Savings Bank took over as naming sponsor because it could not find a buyer, Han Chae-jin took the lead in rectifying the team atmosphere as captain. Han Chae-jin, who returned to Shinhan Bank for the 2019-2020 season, took over as captain this season and is filling the void left by Kim Dan-bi (33), who has led the team, transferred to Woori Bank. Han Chae-jin said, “There aren’t many older sisters (veteran players) on the basketball court anymore. I thought I should do it while I could,” he said.

He went on to say, “It means a lot that the team where I started my career is also finishing.” Han Chae-jin experienced three championships (2005 summer, 2007 winter, 2007-2008 season) at Shinhan Bank at the beginning of his debut, but there was no relationship with the championship after that.

One of the reasons Han Chae-jin wants to experience the championship with her ‘children’ is to repay the ‘surprise gift’. On the day Sonia Kim (30), who was selected as the MVP of the 3rd round, had a treat, the Shinhan Bank players presented a puzzle frame with Han Chae-jin’s performance and a figure doll wearing the uniform of all the teams that Han Chae-jin played. Han Chae-jin, who said, “I cried when I received this gift,” said, “Isn’t it said that you have to have a so-called ‘winner’s suit’ to win? It’s not easy, but it would be great if I could win while playing with my kids.”

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