Sports

A US basketball player was banned from competing in South Korea because he’s too tall

An American basketball player has been told he is too tall to play ball in South Korea.
David Simon, who is 2m (6-foot-7), has played professionally in Bulgaria, France, and South Korea. So far, that hasn’t been a problem.

But a new height limit enforced by the Korean Basketball League (KBL) means he’s no longer eligible to compete as Anyang KGC’s centre and will have to ply his trade elsewhere.

From next season (October), KBL teams will only be permitted two foreign players — and only one can be taller than 1.9m (6-foot-6) while the other can be no taller than 1.8m (6-foot-1).

KBL hopes its restrictions will make the league more competitive and encourage teams to hire more Korean people.

Simon has been told to leave the league and told the BBC that the decision “stinks.”

He said: “Personally, I don’t really understand it. There are only two or three of us that were even over the limit… most of the guys there aren’t super small, or there isn’t that much a difference in their skills.”

When he found out about the decision, he “was a bit upset.” He added: “To be that close and not to make, it kind of stinks. It doesn’t look like I’ll be going back there to play unless they change the rules again.”

Unless the KBL reverses its decision, the league will lose one of its top talents — Simon topped the scoring charts with a 26.1 points per game average in the 2017-18 season.

The tallest player in the KBL is Ha Seung-jinm, a 2.2m (7-foot-4) centre for the team Jeonju KCC Egis. But, since the rule only applies to foreign players, he will be allowed to stay in the league.

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