Kim Ji-han of ‘We’ as a reliable ace who leads the team in Rising Star.

The young boy who graduated from high school in 2017 and challenged the V-League has grown day by day and is now leading a team’s offense. Every time he played, he won the hearts of his teammates, coaches and fans with his fearless and daring play. <The Spike> met Kim Ji-han, who has grown into an indispensable presence for a rising star.

As a high school graduate in 2017, he challenged the V-League. He became a Hyundai Capital player with the 2nd round selection right he received while trading Jung Sung-min to Korean Air. It was a team full of good players. Had to survive in the gap between his older brothers. A world of stern professionals, where no one can guarantee success. In his first professional season (2017-2018 season), he scored 18 points in just 4 matches and 10 sets. The following season he did not play in a single game. He became a free agent midway through the season for the team’s entry. There was at least some hope in his third year as a pro. He scored 71 points while playing 22 sets of 10 matches.

Due to team circumstances, he enlisted quickly. During his hard military life, he suddenly moved the team. Shin Young-seok, Hwang Dong-il, Kim Myeong-gwan, and Lee Seung-jun were included in the 3-3 trade. KEPCO manager Jang Byeong-cheol, who decided to trade at the time, saw his potential. After he was discharged, he scored 14 points in 13 appearances in a KEPCO uniform. Although the four years since his professional debut were insignificant, starting with the 2022 Suncheon KOVO Cup, he left a deep impression on fans and volleyball officials. As a result, he received the Rising Star Award. Woori Card manager Shin Young-chul also recognized his potential. It was included in the 2-2 trade that included Ha Seung-woo, Jang Ji-won, and Oh Jae-seong. This is already the 3rd team. Wearing the number 99 to be among the best players born in 1999, he won the hearts of teammates, managers and fans with his daring play. Kim Ji-han is growing from a rising star to an indispensable ace.

Many people point to Woori Card Kim Ji-han as the hottest player in the 3rd round of the Dodram 2022-2023 V-League Men’s Division. Woori Card, which had been fiercely competing for third place, turned on a red light due to a groin injury of foreign player Agamez. Crisis always creates heroes. So did our card. A hero named Kim Ji-han appeared. While Agamez was out, he led Woori Card’s attack with Na Kyung-bok. In the 3rd round confrontation with Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, he scored 29 points, including 4 points for serving and 3 points for blocking, and made head coach Shin Young-cheol laugh with a crazy performance with an attack success rate of 75.86%. It was the first triple crown of his career. This is a record achieved at the age of 23 years and 3 months. Following Lim Dong-hyuk (22 years and 1 month) and Heo Soo-bong (22 years and 10 months), he is the third youngest ever to achieve the triple crown in the men’s division of a domestic player. Thanks to these performances, he also became an issue player selected by the Korean Volleyball Federation (KOVO). This is the first long interview with

Kim Ji-han, a boy who wanted to go to Jeju Island, <The Spike>. How was he when he was first asked to be hired? I thought that I was definitely receiving a lot of attention these days. I think it would have been better if I had won the game yesterday and had an interview. (On January 10, the day before the interview, Woori Card lost 2-3 to KEPCO.) In the interview with the first outstanding player at Hyundai Capital, he said that he was more nervous about interviews than starting as a starter, but that’s still the case. I think interviews are even more difficult these days. It’s fun to play and I’ve been doing it my whole life, so I’m not nervous, but it’s difficult even if I do a lot of interviews (laughs).

how you first started playing volleyball.
The elementary school team must have asked the players to bring their friends. So I followed my friend, and the team said, “I will send you to Jeju Island,” so I thought I was going to Jeju Island to play. So I said I would do it, but it turned out that I went to Jeju Island to participate in the tournament (laughs).

What is the most memorable competition in your school days?
In middle school, we met twice in the men’s middle and finals, and we lost both times. And we met again in the quarterfinals of the next tournament. At that time, parents and schools all expected that they would lose. But we beat the men’s team and went up to win the championship in the end. That competition is the most memorable. (At that time, the male player was.) Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Choi Ik-je, Hyundai Capital Kim Seon-ho, and KEPCO Kang Woo-seok played among the male players at the time.

In 2017, they advanced to the semifinals of the U19 World Championships. What was the atmosphere and thoughts of the international competition at the time?
I don’t think I contributed much to that competition (laughs). At that time, I was very surprised to see players from other countries. Physicals such as elasticity and strength were really good. I was really proud of myself because I advanced to the semifinals against such teams.

In 2019, he played as a middle blocker in the U-21 youth volleyball team.
At the time, director Lee Kyung-seok said that he liked blocking because he had long arms and good elasticity. Then he told me to play as a middle blocker. I think he had fun. (The difficult part.) There was nothing difficult, but when the middle blocker goes to the rear, he is replaced by the libero and leaves. I remember how awkward it was. 

Now I want to win while playing many games. After graduating from high school in the 2017-2018 season, I challenged myself to become a pro. How did you feel when you were selected by Hyundai Capital in the draft? At the time, I was confident that I would be selected. Then, when director Choi Tae-woong called my name, I felt good. And he said, ‘Now you’re a real professional player. I promise to work harder.” Why did you decide to challenge yourself on the professional stage rather than university? It’s a place I have to go anyway, but I thought it would be better if I went quickly. You can earn money if you go there (laughs). A lot of people around me have told me from before that if I can go pro, I should go pro rather than college, and I thought I should too. Have you ever regretted that decision? I get asked that question a lot, but I have never regretted it. I don’t think it was easy to adapt to the professional stage after graduating from high school. The first thing I felt after coming to the pro was that the atmosphere itself was very different. The system is also different. It was very difficult to adapt at first. (On the contrary, it was good.) The facilities were good, and it was really good that I could receive treatment right away if I was not feeling well. I didn’t play in many games, but I won the regular league championship in the first season and the championship game in the second season.

At that time, I didn’t know anything and I couldn’t play many matches. So, of course, it was good, but it didn’t come close. I thought I won because my brothers did well rather than me. Still, thanks to that experience, I was motivated to win while running a lot.

There were times when I was not able to join the game because I was a member of the team.
It wasn’t fun. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t compete, so I didn’t have the will to do it, and it was difficult.

How do you feel when you look back on your 3 seasons at Hyundai Capital?
Looking back at Hyundai Capital, I think only regrets remain. I have a lot of thoughts that if I worked out harder, I would be doing better now. Now I have to work harder not to think like that.

Enlisted in 2020 Sangmu. Considering his age, he enlisted quickly.
The hyungs around me told me a lot to go and come back if I could go to Sangmu. So I was thinking that I should go and come back when I can go quickly. Now that I think about it, I think I did well to come and go quickly (laughs).

What is the area where you have grown the most during your time at Sangmu?
I think it has to do with stamina and physique. I was really skinny before. So while I was at Sangmu, I did weight training really hard.

While at Sangmu, he was traded to Korea Electric Power Corporation. How was it when you heard the news?
Are you leaving because I didn’t show you anything? I thought. But rather than regretting it, I thought I should go to KEPCO and do better.

When returning to KEPCO after being discharged.
It was awkward (laughs). At the time, very few people knew about KEPCO. The first day I joined, I said hello to my colleagues in the morning, but it was very awkward. But the hyungs were so kind and took care of me very well. We are really close now and we still keep in touch.

The 2022 Suncheon Cobo Cup was a tournament that introduced the name ‘Kim Ji-han’ to fans.
It was a competition that literally introduced me. Still, the bad things are more memorable than the good things. In the meantime, I haven’t shown anything in the league, but I received a lot of attention in the cup competition and wanted to do better.

After the Cobo Cup, it will be traded to Woori Card. It’s the 5th season of the V-League, but it’s already the 3rd team.
When I heard the news about this trade, I thought it was unavoidable due to the club’s circumstances. And just like the first trade, I just thought that I should go to Woori Card for the second trade and work harder.

There must be differences in training and style for each team, but how was it when you felt it yourself?
Hyundai Capital coach Choi Tae-woong tried a lot of new things. He ordered a lot of stuff like that from me too. Because of that experience, I was able to grow into who I am today. KEPCO coach Kwon Young-min doesn’t make the training time long, but he makes it really hard. But when you’re resting, make it really comfortable. Director Shin Young-chul of Woori Card seems to be delicate. Have them practice swinging with a towel every day to correct their swing posture. Agamez is watching it from the side and teases me not to go fishing (laughs). 

When more 99’s members came to our card to settle down in the team, who helped them adapt a lot? (Kim) Jaehwi hyung and (Kim) Wanjong helped me a lot. When you first come to a new team, there are a lot of questions and things you don’t know. Whenever that happened, Jaehwi hyung and Wanjong helped me adapt quickly by informing me. In Woori Card, prominent seniors such as Na Gyeong-bok and Song Hee-chae play as outside heaters. I don’t think competing for the starting position will be easy. It may be difficult right now, but if you keep practicing hard, I think the opportunity will come. Now, I’m trying to learn what Gyeongbok hyung and Heechae hyung are good at. (If there is something you want to learn the most.) Kyungbok hyung has strengths in offense and serve. That’s why I’m trying to learn a lot about Kyungbok’s swing and serve. Watching Heechae-hyung move on the court, he looks like a good volleyball player (laughs). That’s why I follow Heechae while watching how he moves on the court.

The players who were together in the national team by age group are also shining. I think you’ll be happy to see it from the side.
Since they are players I have known and played with since I was young, I feel good when I see them doing well. I think it would be great if all the players that the fans call 99’s took their place on their own team and became the representative players.

I often hear that our card has improved my skills, but how about feeling it yourself?
I feel that I have grown a lot too. Of course, Hyundai Capital and KEPCO have grown a lot, but now I think I am refining what I learned then. I am training while paying attention to the more delicate parts, and director Shin Young-chul also talks about those parts from the side.

What does director Shin Young-chul say to himself the most?
Serve, receive, attack. After talking, you just said everything in every part (laughs). Really tell me every time I touch the ball. It helped me a lot and I think it’s because they have affection for me. I have to work harder so that I can repay the trust of the director.

SBS Sports commentator Choi Cheon-shik said on the air that his facial expression did not change even if he committed a crime or was blocked.
It’s a pity. It would be nice if it didn’t get blocked, but that’s not possible. Even if I get blocked, I think I can do it again next time. Rather than regretting it, I think there is no change in my expression because I think I need to score in the next attack.  토토사이트

Serve match with best friend Lim Seong-jin
“It was a match I will never forget.” 
When Agamez was injured, he took the place. it would have been embarrassing It was nice to be able to play rather than being burdened. I wish I could play sooner and I had a lot of fun while playing. On December 17, he achieved his first triple crown in a match against Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance. I was giving up because I couldn’t catch a block, but it seems like I’ll come up to the outside heater at the end. So, he thought he had to block it unconditionally. The moment I got my hands on it, it was done. I thought it was successful (laughs). I used the prize money I received from the Triple Crown while eating delicious food and drinking coffee with people in my room. What is your most memorable match?

he 4th round KEPCO match is the most memorable. I lost, but I really enjoyed the game. (The serve match with my best friend Lim Seong-jin was also a hot topic.) I was thinking about who I was going to hit during my serve turn, but Seong-jin came into view. And I was confident about the course. So I pointed out Sungjin and served (laughs). (And Im Seong-jin’s counterattack began right away.) Because I couldn’t be the only one who scored (laughs). The first one was out, but I got it for no reason, so Sung-jin saved me. I was able to get the second one, but it was my fault. Still, it was fun because we exchanged it twice. It was a game I will never forget.

You are doing well, but what do you think needs to be improved?
It’s receive. I know, so I put the most emphasis on training, and the coach tells me to focus only on serving and receiving because offense is okay.

This is the year of the Black Rabbit. What is the goal Jihan Kim, who is in the year of the rabbit, wants to achieve?
Personally, I want to try the triple crown one more time. As a team, of course we want to win the championship game.

Finally, please say something to your fans.
There are people who come from afar, and there are people who always come to the stadium to support us. It’s cold these days, so I feel sorry for not being able to sign autographs and take pictures with everyone who has been waiting outside for a long time after the game. I want to take this opportunity to say that I am really sorry. And thank you for always sending me a lot of support, and I will work harder to repay you.

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