Setter Hwang Seung-bin “I’ll prove my worth” as ‘KB’s No. 3 player’
Setter Hwang Seung-bin is now KB Insurance’s No. 3 player.
KB Insurance and Woori Card conducted a trade on the 25th. KB Insurance released outside hitter Han Sung-jung and acquired setter Hwang Seung-bin. For Hwang, it’s the first time he’s changed uniforms in a season.
Born in 1992, Hwang was selected by Korean Air with the fifth pick of the first round in the 2014 rookie draft. However, he struggled to establish himself as the starting setter. There was veteran Han, and in 2019, another veteran, Yoo Kwang-woo, moved to Korean Air. Despite this, Hwang Seung-bin was immediately labeled as a powerhouse setter.
Eventually, Hwang was traded to Samsung Fire in 2021. Given the opportunity, Hwang played 33 matches and 126 sets in 2021-22, the most since his professional debut. Just a year later, he was traded again and donned a Woori Card jersey. In 2022-23, he was named captain and played 36 matches and 140 sets. He also ranked second in the league in sets (10.3 per set).
Hwang Seung-bin’s fourth team in the V-League is KB Insurance. Hwang joined KB Insurance on July 26 and began training with the team. “I will prove my worth,” he said in a call with The Spike on the 29th.
This is his third move. Hwang Seung-bin was not happy about it either. He said, “I changed teams again in one season. Honestly, I thought, ‘Is this really a good thing? However, as coach Shin Young-cheol told me, I thought it was right to go to an environment where I could play volleyball better.”
Hwang continued, “Up until now, while playing volleyball, I used to try small and large things on myself during training. For example, I would try to find a style that suits me well by making changes that only I can recognize, such as a slightly different hand shape or a different foot step. At the same time, get the feel for it. I try to find the tosses that I was confident with,” he concluded.
A move is always new. You have to adapt to new teammates, plays, and team atmosphere. “The first time is always awkward,” said Hwang Seung-bin. But since I’ve done it twice, I don’t think it will be too difficult. In fact, when I moved to Samsung Fire, I needed quite a bit of time to adjust, but with Woori Card, that time was shortened,” he said, adding, “(Jung) Min-soo and I talked a lot, (Han) Gook-i was after the army, (Baek) Kwang-hyun and I have been together for a long time at Korean Air, Samsung Fire, and Sangsung, and (Hwang) Kyung-min was also at Samsung Fire.” He also introduced KB Insurance’s strong support team 메이저놀이터.
KB Insurance was also relieved. This is because their starting setter, Hwang Taek-ui, joined the Korean Armed Forces this year. The team has Shin Seung-hoon, born in 2000, and Park Hyun-bin, born in 2004, but neither has played a full season as a starting setter. They have potential, but the risks are obvious. The addition of Hwang Seung-bin to the KB Insurance roster balances out the setters.
After joining the team, Hwang spoke with head coach Hoo In-jung. “He told me to have fun. He told me that the setter is the one who runs the game, so I should have fun and play volleyball.”
KB Insurance re-signed foreign player Bijena this year. “When I was at Korean Air, I was with Bijena for a couple of months after I left the business,” said Hwang Seung-bin about Bijena and Hwang Kyung-min, who played the main role in the previous season. “At that time, Bijena was injured, so we didn’t get along, but I’m personally looking forward to it. She is not a player who covers the setter’s ball. I think I’ll be able to play more comfortably. I’ve also played with Kyung-min at Samsung Fire. I think we’ll be able to match up well.”
KB Insurance was led by Hwang Taek-ui for seven consecutive seasons. Hwang Seung-bin is also familiar with Hwang’s style: “He has a pretty fast toss. The team colors are also focused on speed. I’ll have to adapt to that. I don’t think it will be too difficult,” he said confidently.
Hwang Seung-bin will continue to wear the number three jersey. Until university, he was assigned the number 2. Korean Air’s No. 2 was Han, so Hwang Seung-bin has worn No. 3 since his professional debut. However, KB Insurance’s number 3 belonged to Shin Seung-hoon. “For me, number 3 is a symbolic and special number. Luckily, Seung-hoon said he would make a concession. He said it was insensitive and he was sorry, but he was grateful. I think I should give him a small gift,” he said with a wry smile.
“First of all, I want to integrate well into the team, I want to play fun and interesting volleyball, and I want to prove my worth,” said Hwang Seung-bin. Hwang Seung-bin’s new challenge has begun.