December 26, 2004
The Portland Trail Blazers have signed Center Ha Seung Jin
The 7-foot-3, 305-pound rookie was selected by the Trail Blazers in the second round (46th pick overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft. Ha had been playing with the Portland Reign of the American Basketball Association.
“We are pleased that Seung Jin has played effectively in the ABA,” said Trail Blazers General Manager John Nash. “And we feel that he would benefit from working with our coaches on a daily basis.”
An early entry candidate for the 2004 NBA Draft, Ha is the first Korean to play in the NBA. He did not play competitive basketball during the 2003-04 season as he moved to Los Angeles to work out in preparation for the draft. The 19-year-old played for Yonsei University and Samil Commercial School in 2002-03 (in Korea, students graduate from high school in February).
Ha was a driving force behind Samil’s 22-game unbeaten streak in 2003, helping the school win four championships, including the high school basketball tournament at the National Sports Festival in Cheju in November 2003.
He averaged 11.0ppg, 9.3rpg and 1.9bpg in 19.2 minutes per game at the 2003 Junior World Championships. Under South Korean rules, Ha was eligible to play for Yonsei University in a 2003 tournament as an incoming freshman, even without finishing high school. He averaged 12.6ppg, 8.6rpg and 1.6bpg as Yonsei won the national college title.
The Trail Blazers return to action against the Philadelphia 76ers in the Rose Garden
on Monday, December 27 at 7:00 p.m.
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