Not only do the Sonic Boom have a different look in the win column this season, but the KBL overall has a different look than before. Though mostly comprised of Korean players, the league has traditionally allowed two foreigners per team and recently ended the maximum height allowance of 6’8.
Adding to the diversity on the court, 2009 saw the first year of the "ethnic draft." Ethnic-Koreans, regardless of where they are from, are eligible for the draft when they acquire South Korean nationality or either of their parents is Korean. Players of Korean descent have played on previous KBL teams, but 2009 was the first year that the league made a concerted effort to bring in mixed Koreans.
Seven ethnic Koreans were selected to participate in the 2009 draft in hopes of playing ball in the KBL. One of the five players that made the cut was the Sonic Boom's Chris Vann.
Chris, whose mother is Korean and father African-American, is better known on the court in Korea as Park Tae-young. He was a collegiate star at Mount St. Mary's in Maryland, graduating in 2008. In his final season the Mount St. Mary's team went to the NCAA tournament. Although coming up short with a loss to eventual Final Four participant, North Carolina, the team enjoyed a highly acclaimed season for such a small school.
Though Chris has seen limited playing time his first year in the league, he managed to get in some quality minutes on the floor. Busan Haps got a chance to ask Chris some questions about his first year playing ball in Korea.
Chris Vann back in his days playing college ball
For more info on the Sonic Boom and the rest of the KBL check out Asia-Basket.com