Are Lee Geun-hwi and Kang Ba-il going to the Mongolian national team? Association, KCC, Samsung “I have not received any official documents”
The Mongolian Basketball Association announced the preliminary entry for the 2025 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asian Cup qualifiers on the 1st (Korean time). The list included players from the Mongolian 3×3 national team as well as KBL’s Lee Geun-hwi (KCC) and Kang Ba-il (Samsung).
Lee Geun-hwi and Kang Ba-il are from 메이저놀이터 Mongolia and after acquiring Korean nationality, they participated in the KBL rookie draft and are now members of Jeonju KCC and Seoul Samsung. In the case of Lee Geun-hwi, he gave up his Mongolian nationality, and Kang Ba-il is known to have dual nationality.
In the case of Kang Byil, he has experience participating in the tournament as a member of Mongolia at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. However, he was not a professional player at the time, and after leaving Chung-Ang University, he was a 3×3 player.
If it was included in the preliminary entry, official documents related to the selection should have already been delivered to the Korea Basketball Association, as well as KCC and Samsung, the clubs belonging to Lee Geun-hwi and Kang Byil. However, as a result of the coverage, there was no place where the Mongolian Basketball Association delivered an official document.
A Samsung official said, “In the case of (Kang) Byil, it seems that he was included in the entry because he had experience with the national team in the past. Of course, he was included in the roster even after that, so it’s not that surprising.”
A KCC official said, “(Lee) Geun-hwi has also been included in the Mongolian national team several times. However, he already knows that he has given up his Mongolian citizenship, and he has become Korean, so he doesn’t really care.”
An official from the Korea Basketball Association said, “We need to look at the rules more, but if a player has given up Mongolian nationality, it is difficult for him to be selected for the national team. If you are a player with dual nationality, the words are different. If he has Mongolian nationality and has never played for our national team, he can be selected.”
A basketball official familiar with the international basketball situation said, “The Mongolian Basketball Association has included players from Mongolia in the national team several times, but I know that they have never participated in the tournament after being officially selected. It is not a big deal unless the official letter came through the official route. Also, there is a set process for selecting the national team, but it is often not followed.”
For now, the issue of Lee Geun-hui and Kang By-il’s selection for the Mongolian national team is highly likely to end in a happening.