After winning six consecutive titles from the 2012-2013 season to the 2017-2018 season, Woori Bank lost its seventh consecutive regular season title to KB Stars in the 2018-2019 season and lost to Samsung Life Blooms in the playoffs. When Woori Bank, which was supposed to be the overall champion every season, failed to advance to the championship game, many basketball fans predicted that Woori Bank would enter a period of decline, just like Shinhan Bank S.B., which won its first six consecutive titles.
However, even after the end of the ‘dynasty’, Woori Bank has never had a season with a winning percentage below 7% in the regular season. Although they have only won the championship once in the last five seasons, they have maintained their prestigious status as the leading team in the WKBL, forming a ‘two-river’ system with KB. Woori Bank has been a powerhouse for a long time, thanks to the outstanding leadership of head coach Satellite Woo, who started the team’s heyday, as well as the organization of players who have been playing together for a long time and the proper recruitment of players.
However, some basketball fans criticize the results of the last season, when Woori won the championship for the first time in five years after the 2017-2018 season. This means that Woori’s biggest rival, KB, wasn’t a true champion as they didn’t have a good season due to Park Ji-soo’s injury. Woori Bank needs to prove that last season’s title was not a “fluke” due to Park Ji-soo’s absence by winning back-to-back titles this season to dismiss some critics.
Woori Bank wins the title after five seasons without Kim Dan-bi
After the retirement of Yang Ji Hee in 2017, Woori Bank, unable to find a clear-cut homegrown big woman, turned to foreign players such as Natalie Urchenwa, Crystal Thomas, and LeShanda Gray to fill in under center. However, after the 2019-2020 season, the Korean Women’s Basketball Federation abolished the foreign player system in the WKBL, which was a huge disadvantage for Woori Bank, which did not have a solid center. Woori’s tallest player became Park Ji-hyun, a 6-foot-8 guard, after the foreign player ban was abolished. v
Even after the foreign player program was abolished, Woori Bank continued to perform well in the regular season, led by Kim Sonia (Shinhan Bank), Choi Yi-sam, and Park Ji-hyun. However, they were swept in the 2020-2021 playoffs by Samsung Life, led by Bae Hye-yoon and Kim Han-byul (BNK Thumb), and came close to winning the championship in the 2021-2022 season, but lost three straight games against KB, who had the best center in the league in Park Ji-soo and national team shooter Kang Seul.
After a combined six straight losses and four consecutive seasons without a championship, Woori Bank signed Kim Dan-bi, the league’s most versatile forward, in free agency last year for a four-year contract and a total annual salary of 450 million won. Of course, Kim Dan-bi is not an “authentic big woman,” but she is an all-around player who can play inside or outside, 보스토토 주소 and her blocked shots in the 2021-2022 season overtook Park Ji-soo, so it was obvious that she would be a tremendous addition to Woori’s roster.
Having never left Shinhan Bank since her professional debut, many basketball fans were worried about Kim’s adjustment to her first move.