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 2002 Info

Germany - Hee Wan Lee

Hee Wan Lee was "christened" "Nine Letters Ten Fingers" by a previous team-mate Jörg Postma and the nickname remains valid today.

The former setter first used his delicate fingers as a player and he later turned that "fingertip sensitivity" to good use to become a successful international coach. In the past he knew how to neutralize the block with impressive quick sets, now he is very able in composing and motivating a successful team.

Hee Wan Lee was encouraged to come to Germany by Dai Hee Park, a Korean compatriot and former women's coach who had already been in the country for 25 years. Arriving in Germany in 1980, the then 24-years old played in the first division team VC Paderborn, not in his previously favorite function as a middle block (one of the best in Korea) but as setter. He immediately registered great success in this new role. That period the German Volleyball Magazine dubbed him the "KARAJAN" of Volleyball, making reference to the great orchestral conductor Herbert von Karajan.

After his active playing career ended, he then completed two years of study in Cologne to become a trainer and physical education teacher and went on to his first coaching appointment.

Lee took over the national team in 1999 and with his young side, finished fourth at the European Championship in Italy. One year later the team achieved a sensational sixth place at the Olympic Games in Sydney. In summer 2002, after the excellent third place at the World Grand Prix in Asia, hopes were high for a good result when Germany hosted the world Championship. But after struggling - and surviving the first round - the team was then eliminated in the second round to finish in tenth place.

Hee Wan Lee, now 47, is married with two children.

Player history: 1980-1981 Goldstar, Korea; 1981-1985 VBC Paderborn; 1985-1987 SC Fortuna Bonn: 1987-1991 TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen; 1991-1997 SV Bayer Wuppertal. Coaching history: 1985-1987 fortuna bonn (playing coach; 1993-1999 SV Bayer Wuppertal; since 1999 coach of Germany's National Women's Team.