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Four-time MVP in S. Korean men's basketball announces retirement

All News 17:08 March 31, 2020

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- Yang Dong-geun, the most decorated player in South Korean pro basketball history, announced his retirement Tuesday, following a season disrupted by the coronavirus.

The Mobis Phoebus of the Korean Basketball League (KBL) said the veteran guard had decided to call it quits at age 38 after sitting down with his coaching staff and front office.

Yang is a four-time regular season MVP who also won three playoff MVP awards and six championships. No one has won more MVP awards or more titles than Yang in the KBL's 23-year history.

In this file photo, from Jan. 1, 2020, Yang Dong-geun of the Mobis Phoebus (R) drives to the basket against the Anyang KGC in a Korean Basketball League regular season game at Anyang Gymnasium in Anyang, about 20 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Yang was drafted first overall by the KCC Eigis in 2004 but was immediately traded to the Phoebus. He spent his entire 17-year career with the Ulsan-based team, not counting a couple of years spent doing his mandatory military service.

Yang averaged 11.8 points, 5.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds for his career. He won his first regular season MVP as a sophomore in the 2005-2006 season, and was honored again in 2007, 2015 and 2016.

With Yang as its floor general, the Phoebus won the title in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019. He was the voted the playoff MVP in 2007, 2013 and 2015.

The 2005 Rookie of the Year and a two-time assist king was also named to the All-KBL First Team nine times.

Yang had an anticlimactic ending to his illustrious career, as the KBL halted regular season play on Feb. 29 and then canceled the remainder of the season last Tuesday in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

No champion will be crowned this year. Yang's Phoebus were in eighth place among 10 clubs at 18-24, 2.5 games out of the sixth and final playoff spot.

In 40 games this past season, Yang averaged 10 points with 4.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds.

The Phoebus said it will have a retirement ceremony for Yang at its home opener for the 2020-2021 season, and his No. 6 will be retired.

In this file photo, from Nov. 20, 2019, Yang Dong-geun of the Mobis Phoebus (R) handles the ball against the Samsung Thunders in a Korean Basketball League regular season game at Jamsil Arena in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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