Shin Young-seok of KEPCO, ‘4000 points golden tower’

“I’ll try to reach 5,000 points.”

After becoming the first middle blocker to reach the 4,000-point plateau, Shin Young-seok (37, KEPCO) has his sights set even further.

Shin scored eight points, including five blocks, against OK Financial Group in the men’s Dodram 2023-2024 V-League at Sangryoksu Gymnasium in Ansan on Nov. 21.

He had 3,993 career points before this game, and finally surpassed the 4,000-point mark. This is the eighth record in V-League history.

What makes his 4,000-point mark even more significant is that he is the first middle blocker to do so. The previous seven were all wing players.

“Actually, I didn’t even know I had 3,000 points, so I was surprised when I heard I had 4,000,” Shin said with an embarrassed laugh after the shutout win over OK Financial Group.

It’s not a record he was conscious of, but it certainly means something. “They said it was the first record for a center (middle blocker). I’ve been thinking a lot lately, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to set a lot of records’ as I’m nearing retirement. I think 4,000 points is closer to me because it shows what I’ve been doing,” he said.

He added, “Since I have 4,000 points, I think I can get to 5,000 points, but it will take me another five years. I’ll try to get to 5,000,” he smiled.

Shin Young-seok, who wore the number 22 last season, switched to the number 23 this season. The numbers 22 and 23 represent the years. Next season, he plans to change his number to 24.

When asked how many times he plans to wear his number, he laughed and said, “I’m aiming for 30.” He hopes to play until 2030. He also revealed that he wants to play until 2030.

“Coach (Kwon Young-min) tells me to play until I’m 45 because he’ll take good care of my body. In fact, at the beginning of every season, we talk about the aging curve (a player’s performance declines with age). I think those things motivate me more and keep me from getting tired,” he said, adding, “I want to set more records in the future.”

Shin Young-seok also leads the men’s blocking category with 1191. On the women’s side, Yang Hyo-jin (Hyundai E&C) is at the top with 1504.

“I think she’s the history of blocking in Korean volleyball, and I’m grateful to be in the same era as such a historic player,” said Shin Young-seok about his goal blocking, “I’m close to 1200. I want to do better than Yang Hyo-jin, but there is a gap of 300 points. I hope Yang Hyo-jin plays for a long time,” he laughed.

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