Libero Lee Chae-eun (Gwangju Women’s University) watched the draft with her heart in her throat and burst into tears when her name came out of the mouth of Joe Trinity Pepper Savings Bank.
Even though she is only a trainee player, just being able to stand on the court in a professional team’s uniform made the past year go by like a flashlight.
Lee was selected by Pepper Savings Bank as a trainee player at the Korea Volleyball Organization (KOVO) 2023-2024 Women’s Rookie Draft on Tuesday at Mayfield Hotel in Gangseo-gu, Seoul.
She was drafted last year as a senior at Pohang Girls’ High School, but instead of giving up, she chose to go to college.
Since the inception of professional volleyball, there has never been a case of a college student being drafted in women’s volleyball until last year.
“I thought it would be impossible and gave up (on this year’s team), but when the Pepper Club picked me last, I just cried without thinking,” said Lee.
“I wanted to break the stereotype that college players don’t get picked, and I wanted to show that I could be picked. I came this far because I didn’t give up and kept going,” she added.
There are currently four universities with women’s volleyball teams, including Gwangju Women’s University, where Lee is a student.
Even though she hasn’t received a call from a professional team, she still wants to play for an unemployed team.
“I hope the juniors will apply for the draft with confidence after seeing me,” says Lee Chae-eun. This is not the end, there are more opportunities, so I want them to apply until they can.”
Lee, who played both outside hitter and libero at Pohang Girls’ High School, has focused on libero since entering college.
“We are pleased to have selected a player from the Gwangju area. Chae-eun Lee showed impressive and reliable reception during our trials. We expect her to play a good role.”
“I think Ji-young’s fighting spirit is similar to mine, and I want to follow in her footsteps,” said Lee Chae-eun, who cited teammate libero Ji-young as an example. “Even if I don’t have the skills, I want to be a player who stands out for her fighting spirit.” 파워볼게임