The Korean national basketball team (alternate names include Republic of Korea and South Korea) is the team representing South Korea in international men's basketball competitions. It is administered by the Korea Basketball Association (Hangul: 대한농구협회; Daehan Nonggu Hyeobhoe).
Based on the number of overall medals won, South Korea is a major force among basketball teams of FIBA Asia. The team has won a record number of 24 medals at the FIBA Asia Championship. Furthermore, South Korea is the only nation that has qualified for this event every year since it was first held in 1960.
At the 1954 Asian Games, for the first time ever, South Korea finished in the Final Four of a major international basketball tournament in Asia. The team slowly improved its position within Asia almost every year and qualified for the Basketball World Cup several times.
Asian elite position behind China (1971-2007)
At the Asian Championship, South Korea stayed among the top three teams at 21 straight events, a record that is still unmatched until today. The streak finally ended when Qatar defeated South Korea at the 3rd place game at the 2005 event. Between 1975 and 2005, South Korea was the only nation besides the Philippines that was able to seriously challenge China's dominance. It interrupted China's championship winning streak in 1997, when it defeated its dominant neighbor in the semifinals and ultimately won the crown as 1997 Champion of Asia.
At the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship, Korea was able to go on a streak, and won the first 5 games. Because of the "four centers" Ha Seung-jin (221 cm), Kim Joo-sung (205 cm), Lee Dong-jun (202 cm), and Kim Min-soo (200 cm), South Korea had the tournament's highest 2-point field goal percentage (61%). Korea was also a team that had a strong back court with Kim Seung-hyun (179 cm), Yang Dong-geun (182 cm), Kim Dong-woo (198 cm), and Choi Jin-soo (205 cm), who guaranteed that the team was in the tournaments top-3 in free throw percentage (70.6) and assists per game (11.5). All these players helped their team to win the bronze medal once again.
Emergence of West Asian competition (2008-present)
In the modern era, South Korea's competition from West Asia intensified as countries such as Jordan, Qatar, Lebanon, and especially Iran improved their basketball programs. South Korea is still considered one of Asia's major teams but its position among the top three teams in Asia is not guaranteed anymore. In 2014, the team qualified for the Basketball World Cup for the first time in almost 20 years. Even though the team was eliminated in the first round, the qualification itself has been a success and provided much needed global exposure. Most of the players that played at the 2014 World Cup returned for the 2014 Asian Games where they helped secure the gold medal on home soil.
Ahn Byung-Suk, Kim Young-Su, Cho Byung-Hyun, Kim Choon-Pae, Kim Young-Ki, Ko Se-Te, Paik Nan-Chung, Choi Tae-Kon, Ahn Young-Sik, Kim Hyung-I
1964 Olympic Games: finished 16th among 16 teams
Shin Dong-pa, Moon Hyun-chang, Kim Young-il, Kim Seung-kyu, Chung Jin-bong, Lee Byung-koo, Kim Young-ki, Kim Chung-sun, Ha Ui-kun, Kim Moo-hyun, Bang Yeul, Kim In-kun (Coach: Kim Hee)
1968 Olympic Games: finished 14th among 16 teams
Shin Dong-pa, Lee In-pyo, Kim Young-il, Kim Moo-hyun, Kim In-kun, Choi Jong-kyu, Lee Kyung-jae, Ha Ui-kun, Yoo Hee-hyung, Park Han, Lee Byung-koo, Kwak Hyun-chae (Coach: Lee Kyung-jae, J. Jeff Gausepohl)
1970 World Championship: finished 11th among 13 teams
Shin Dong-pa, Lee In-pyo, Kim In-kun, Kim Young-il, Park Han, Choi Jong-kyu, Yoo Hee-hyung, Lee Byung-koo, Yoo Jung-kun, Lee Ja-young, Shin Hyun-soo, Kwak Hyun-chae (Coach: Kim Young-ki)
1978 World Championship: finished 13th among 14 teams
Kim In-Jin, Kim Pyung-Man, Jung Young-Soo, Jang Bong-Hak, Park Sang-Ung, Park Soo-Kyo, Kim Sang-Chun, Kim Hyung-Nyun, Kim Dong-Kwang, Koo Jong-Hoo, Lee Mun-Kyu, Choi Bu-Young (Coach: Kim Moo-Hyung)
1986 World Championship: finished 22nd among 24 teams