As expected, the team had consecutive losses in the early part of this season and only ranked the lowest (1 win and 5 losses) in the opening six games.

In his third year, guard Lee Jung-hyun (24, 1m87cm) fought alone, but he was definitely inferior in rebounding. However, as center Chinanu Onuaku (27, 2m6cm) from the National Basketball Association joined the team in mid-April, he couldn’t recognize the player from Goyang Sono. As Onuaku dominated the basket with his excellent athletic ability, he completely addressed his lack of height, which had been Sono’s biggest weakness. He has a natural sense of pass as well as rebound, creating a fantastic combination with Lee Jung-hyun. With Onuaku joining the team, Sono is on the verge of a 50% win rate (eight wins, nine losses, tying for sixth) as it has been on the rise with four wins and one loss in the recent five games.

Lee Jung-hyun, who met at Goyang Sono Arena on the 6th, praised Onuaku, saying, “I am confident that I have a partner who not only has defensive skills to catch rebounds, but also has screen and pass as well as scoring skills in attack situations.”

As Lee Jung-hyun said, Onuaku is a reliable player. He played with superstars and experienced top-notch basketball for two seasons with the Houston Rockets in the NBA since 2016. Afterwards, he moved to the lower leagues in the NBA and played in the Wonju DB in the 2019-20 season. After returning to the KBL after four seasons, Onuaku is said to be quick to adapt. He has recorded 11.9 rebounds (4th), 18.6 points (8th), and 4.6 assists (6th) per game in this season. This is a respectable performance given that he has not fully incorporated into the team yet. Colleagues call such Onuaku a “chief.”

Lee Jung-hyun, who plays with Onuaku, has an average of 21 points, surpassing prominent stars such as Choi Joon-yong (KCC, 16.1) and Heo Woong (KCC, 13.5) to rank No. 1 in scoring for Korean players. When Lee thanked him, “What are you talking about? I’m your senior,” Onuaku replied, “Lee Jung-hyun is like my younger brother. I’ll buy you dinner if you buy me dinner.”

Coach Kim Seung-ki called Onuaku a “special player.” He praised the player as a type of player who cares about his teammates rather than greedy for individual performances. He has a completely different personality from the arrogant and insincere foreign players that he has seen many times. Onuaku is giving new players his experience on and off the court. He gives advice whenever he has time during games.

Lee, who lacks English proficiency, even trained himself to read Onuaku’s movements and predict his play in order to generate synergy. “I only want the trophy. I have no other desire,” Onuaku said. “The rest is just a bonus. If I have one more wish, I will make my partner Lee Jung-hyun the best player in the KBL this season.” “If we compare our relationship to a cartoon character, it deserves to be called Batman (heroine) and Robin (helping man). Of course, Batman is Lee Jung-hyun, I am Robin.”

At the end of the interview, Onuaku asked Lee what his best performance would be after joining the professional league. When Lee replied, “The best players in the playoffs are in the last four,” Onuaku said, “Robin will do his best to help Batman reach the final stage this year.” “My goal was to advance to the semi-finals, but as I played with Onuaku, I came to look higher. As time goes by, we will become a more scary duo,” Lee said. 안전놀이터

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