South Korea’s Ambassador in Cairo Hong Jin-Wook invited Egyptian national basketball team player Assem Marei, who is currently playing for Changwon LG Sakers — a professional South Korean basketball team — to the embassy on 16 August.
The first Egyptian player to set foot on Korean basketball arenas will be competing for the LG Sakers for the second year after renewing his contract ahead of the 2022/23 season’s kick-off in October.
Marei said that it was an enormous responsibility on his shoulders to play for the Korean team as an Egyptian athlete, and that he would do his best to create new opportunities for other Egyptian players.
The 2.06m-tall player showed an unrivalled performance in the offensive rebound, catching six rebounds in every game, earning him the titles ‘Rebound Machine’ and ‘King of the Under Basket’ in the previous season.
Marei also captured the hearts of Korean basketball fans not only for his incomparable skills but also for his handsome looks, with Korean fans comparing him to American actor Orlando Bloom and Canadian singer Justin Bieber.
During the meeting, Hong praised Marei for his athletic achievements and congratulated him for being the first Egyptian player to play in a Korean team, emphasising that bilateral relations between South Korea and Egypt have now extended even to the basketball court.
Quoting local ads by Korean electronics giants LG and Samsung, Hong mentioned that Marei was playing the role of an Egyptian sports ambassador by transferring Egyptian basketball skills to the Korean basketball leagues, thereby contributing to bilateral relations through sports.
Hong also stressed that the embassy would always endeavour to support bilateral cooperation in terms of sports and youths to enhance the understanding between the two countries’ peoples.