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‘All-Star Game MVP + Ceremonial Award’ Shin Young-seok

KEPCO’s Shin Young-seok, 38, has asked fans to look forward to the future of Korean volleyball.

Shin won both the MVP and Ceremonial Award after leading K-Star to a 37-36 victory in the Dodram 2023-2024 V-League All-Star Game at Samsan World Gymnasium in Incheon on Sunday. He also topped the fan vote for the fourth consecutive year.

Shin’s four points (75.0% offensive success rate), including one service ace, were enough to win the MVP award over Leo (nine votes), who had seven points (77.8% offensive success rate). “I didn’t expect to win MVP. I thought Leo would get it. I’ve won a lot of awards, but this is my first All-Star Game MVP. I want to thank the fans and keep this momentum going and do my best until spring volleyball,” she said after receiving the award.

Shin also worked hard to prepare for the ceremony. As soon as he scored his first point, he surprised the fans by performing a slickback dance while jumping rope. He caught his foot on a jump rope on the way, so he just did a slickback dance around the court, but the fans were impressed with his performance.

“I was worried about how to prepare the ceremony for the fans,” said Shin Young-seok. “Many people asked me for a favor, and one fan suggested a slickback. I practiced for about an hour yesterday. I didn’t know I had a talent for this. I could do it while jumping rope, but I was disappointed because my legs got stuck. If I just do slickback, everyone can do it if they practice, so I added jump rope to make it more fun,” he laughed.

At the All-Star Game, Shin Young-seok was not the only one who was busy showing off the performances he had been preparing for. “Lim Sung-jin, Lim Dong-hyuk, and Kim Ji-han prepared until 2 a.m. yesterday, so I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep, but I hope the players realize that they made such an effort for the fans. Actually, I didn’t think I would get the ceremony award. I just wanted to show them something, and I’m glad they liked it.”

The South Korean national volleyball team hasn’t had the best of luck at international competitions lately. The men’s team finished seventh at last year’s Hangzhou Asian Games, their first medal in 61 years since the 1962 Jakarta Games. Shin Young-seok, a veteran of the national team, bowed to the fans.

“The younger players showed a lot of heart today,” he said. “The national team disappointed the fans, and I was asked once, ‘Why should I come to watch volleyball?’ I think the young players who played in front of the fans today are the ones who will lead men’s volleyball in the future. We have fallen to the bottom, but if the fans give a lot of support to the young players, I expect that the new players will raise the national team again,” he said, asking the fans to support the young players.

The V-League Men’s Division has been a really tight race this season. Only 12 points separate first-place Woori Card (15 W, 9 L, 44 points) from sixth-place Hyundai Capital (9 W, 15 L, 32 points). KEPCO is in fifth place with 13 wins, 11 losses, and 37 points.

“I think we’re in a very interesting situation,” said Shin, who laughed, “It’s going to be a really intense Game 5. The players will be stressed, but the fans will have fun. It’s true that women’s volleyball has been popular recently and men’s volleyball has been pushed aside, but we will try harder to make fans realize that men’s volleyball is also fun. And KEPCO will unconditionally go to spring volleyball,” he said, promising the rest of the season.

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