By Willie T. Smith III
The Greenville News
November 11, 2003
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Though Han Sung Kim didn’t leave Korea until this summer, the seed for his trip to Greenville was planted three years ago.
Pat Loyer, a longtime hockey coach in Canada, saw Kim play in 2000 and encouraged him to pursue the sport professionally. It wasn’t until four months ago that Kim contacted Loyer and said he was ready to give North American professional hockey a shot.
“I always wanted to play in the States, but I didn’t have enough confidence to do it,” Kim said though his interpreter, Alex Park. “But I wanted to take (hockey) as far as I could, so I talked to my parents about it.”
His parents consented to a trip to Canada, where Loyer would provide housing and arrange workouts with other hockey players, including some with NHL experience. Three weeks later, after spending time with Kim on the ice and at home, Loyer was convinced Kim could handle the pro game.