There are currently 6800 ex-college players, who play 2013-14 season overseas
BLOGS of pro basketball players overseas
Behind the backboard: the truth about life overseas
*the number is for both men and women players, who play outside of the U.S. (updated on 8/16/2014) Check Detailed list by College or by country
Rizing Fukuoka's Game-Winning turnaround. - Nov 9, 2012
As reported by the Japan Times, Coach Atsushi Kanazawa's club triumphed twice last weekend against the Takamatsu Five Arrows to jump into fifth place in the 10-team Western Conference.
The Rizing are relying on mainstays Jun Nakanishi and Akitomo Takeno in the backcourt along with newcomers Josh Peppers, Julius Ashby and Reggie Warren for the majority of the team's production.
Also in the mix are rookie sharpshooter Zane Johnson, a University of Hawaii product, veterans Satoshi Ishitani and Masahiro Kano, along with relatively unknown Rintaro Tokunaga, Keisuke Takabatake and Junya Masumoto.
Warren was an integral part of Takamatsu and Kyoto Hannaryz playoff teams in years past, and Ashby has been to the Final Four as a member of the Five Arrows, Tokyo Apache and Niigata Albirex BB.
Peppers has made major contributions for the Sendai 89ers and Shiga Lakestars in the postseason, while Takeno and Nakanishi have also been tested in the playoffs while competing for
Niigata and Fukuoka for the former and Tokyo, Osaka Evessa and Fukuoka for the latter.
That veteran leadership has given the Rizing an edge in preparation compared with some teams without that collective experience of years spent in the bj-league.
"I think the key to our chemistry is getting a lot better each and every game," Warren told The Japan Times on Tuesday. "With me and Peppers joining the team late, I think that played a part in the slow start.
"We are all communicating to suggest different things to the coach, especially the leaders of the team with me and Jun being more of the vocal players adding a lot of input on what's going on, and coach actually listening and respecting our voice is key," added Warren, a power forward who's averaging 15.9 points and 12.5 rebounds with six double-doubles in eight games.
Peppers, averaging 18.6 ppg, is the team's top option on offense. Ashby, an athletic, forceful presence in the middle, is scoring at an 11.5 ppg clip. Takeno, one of the best pure shooters in league history, and Nakanishi, who has played in the fledgling circuit since 2005, are both contributing 9.6 ppg.
The players have not been shy about speaking out and saying what they think are keys for the team's success, Warren said.
"Everyone has respect for each other and we all have played many games in this league and understand how it works," he added, referring to the team's veteran corps. "I think we know and understand our roles and the younger guys are following our lead.
Johnson is currently nursing a sprained ankle, but has already made a strong impression during the young season's first month.
"The guy can flat-out shoot," Warren said, "and he's going to help us so much. If teams continue to try and double team me and Ashby, Zane will make them pay."
None of the current Rizing players have been on a bj-league championship team, and that motivates them to aim to be the best this season.
"We all talk about the same thing," Warren said. "All of us have the same goals: to reach the finals. I think this team has what it takes and is hungry for a title."
| Gunma hires longtime NBA assistant Parker as new coach- Aug.2, 2014 (by Emeka)|
Charlie Parker, who spent more than a decade as an NBA assistant coach, this week was named the Gunma Crane Thunders new bench boss.Entering their third season, Gunma handed its coaching reins to a well-traveled, experienced mentor to build a winning foundation.Parker received a one-year contract to coach the Eastern Conference team.The Crane Thunders went 13-39 last season, They had a 15-37 record in 2012-13, their inaugural campaign.I am looking forward sincerely to be a coach in the bj... [read more]
Charlie Parker, who spent more than a decade as an NBA assistant coach, this week was named the Gunma Crane Thunders new bench boss.
Entering their third season, Gunma handed its coaching reins to a well-traveled, experienced mentor to build a winning foundation.
Parker received a one-year contract to coach the Eastern Conference team.
The Crane Thunders went 13-39 last season, They had a 15-37 record in 2012-13, their inaugural campaign.
I am looking forward sincerely to be a coach in the bj-league, Parker said in comments posted on the Gunma website.
He added that the goal is for the team to play an exciting NBA style of basketball, including aggressive defense.
Parker, 65, served as an assistant coach for the NBA Development Leagues Texas Legends during the 2013-14 season. (Parker worked alongside former Saitama Broncos head coach Dean Murray, a Legends assistant coach.)
From 2011-13, he coached Al Muharraq to one Bahrain League title and one championship runnerup finish.
He also led the Chinese Basketball Associations Foshan club from 2010-11.
He served as a Dallas Mavericks assistant from 1996-2006, and worked for the New Orleans Hornets in that same role from 2007-10, during which he also guided the clubs Summer League team in Las Vegas
In the collegiate ranks, he was a head coach at the University of Southern California in 1995-96. He was named the interim head coach as Trojans mentor George Ravelings successor the previous season. Parker was on Ravelings USC staff for six seasons before the promotion.
Before his move to USC, Parker was head coach at Wayne State, an NCAA Division II school in Michigan, from 1982-88. He compiled a 120-56 record in that time. He collected two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year accolades while at Wayne State.
Parker started coaching in 1972 at the University of Findlay (Ohio) as an assistant and spent four seasons at the school before a six-year stint as an assistant at Bowling Green.
News from Akita: Power forward Ruben Boykin, who had a terrific 2013-14 season for the championship runnerup Happinets, will play for Ludwigsburg, the top-flight Basketball Bundesliga (Germany) club, this coming season.
The 29-year-old Boykin averaged 13.9 points and a league-high 13.5 rebounds for the Happinets. He had 183 assists against 93 turnovers with 52 steals.
In his one season in Japan, Boykin quickly emerged as one of the bj-leagues premier all-around forwards.
Akita recently announced it has re-signed high-scoring forward Richard Roby.
Firebonds update: Expansion club Fukushima has signed its first two foreign players, big man James Hughes, who split last season between Sendai and Gunma, and forward Nick Thompson.
Hughes played 21 games for Gunma (7.0 points, 5.9 rebounds) and 24 games for Sendai (8.8 points, 6.8 rebounds) last season.
The 211-cm Northern Illinois product said, I would like to thank Fukushima and Coach Theo (Hiroki Fujita) for giving me the opportunity to return to Japan. We look forward to show the fans hard work and excitement for their support.
As a rookie pro last season, the 206-cm Thompson averaged 9.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 28 games for Finke Baskets in the German ProA League.
My wife and I are very excited about this opportunity, and cant wait to move to Japan and get started, Thompson said in a statement posted on the Fukushima website. Im grateful to be part of the Fukushima Sports Entertainment family, and am looking forward to getting there and working hard to help the organization have a great first season.
Thompson completed his college career at Utah Valley State after stints at Oklahoma and College of Eastern Utah.
Returning to Kyoto: As expected, forward David Palmer will be back with the Hannaryz for a third season.
Kyoto made the official announcement on Wednesday.
Palmer, 32, averaged 13.9 points per game for the Hannaryz last season. The sharpshooter made 41.8 percent of his 3-point shots, 46.2 percent from inside the arc and 87.2 percent at the free-throw line.
Frontcourt addition: Forward Olu Ashaolu has joined Hamamatsu for the upcoming campaign.
The 200-cm University of Oregon product was born in Nigeria. He lists Toronto as his hometown.
Ashaolu, who wrapped up his college career in 2012, played for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2012 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He has previously competed for pro teams in Spain and France. He is a former member of the Canada junior national team.
Im very excited for my arrival and to be a part of the club, Ashaolu said in a statement issued by the team. I am looking forward to having a great year with all the teammates, coaches, sponsors and fans.
Before attending Oregon, Ashaolu went to Louisiana Tech.
Susanoo Magic addition: Shimane filled a spot on its roster by signing 211-cm post player Brandon Hassell.
After playing in Europe last season for the first time, Im excited to play my first season in Japan, Hassell, a Penn State alum, said in a statement.
Id like to thank the Shimane Susanoo Magic organization for giving me this opportunity.
I am going to come in, work hard, and do the best I can to make an impact on the court and help this team.
Hassell began his pro career in 2008. He played for Swedish club Eco Orebro last season, averaging 13.9 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds in 36 games, according to eurobasket.com.
Bambitious pickup: Nara has added veteran forward Michael St. John for next season.
The 203-cm La Salle University product played for Norwegian League team Tromso Storm last season, providing 18 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 23 games, eurobasket.com reported.
Johnson, 30, has also played in Poland, Denmark and Romania.
Staying in Gunma: Guard Kenya Tomori has finalized a deal to return to the Crane Thunders for a third season.
He began his pro career in 2007 with Ryukyu.
| Isa to lead champion Ryukyu again next season- Jun.26, 2014 (by Emeka)|
As expected, the defending champions Ryukyu Golden Kings have decided to renew coach Tsutomu Isas contract for the 2014-15 season; the Japan Times can authoritatively reveal.The Okinawan native has been with the franchise since its inception in 2007, working as an assistant coach for six seasons before being promoted to bench boss prior to last season. The Golden Kings had a league-record 43-9 record in the regular season and captured their third championship, tying the Osaka Evessas leag... [read more]
As expected, the defending champions Ryukyu Golden Kings have decided to renew coach Tsutomu Isas contract for the 2014-15 season; the Japan Times can authoritatively reveal.
The Okinawan native has been with the franchise since its inception in 2007, working as an assistant coach for six seasons before being promoted to bench boss prior to last season. The Golden Kings had a league-record 43-9 record in the regular season and captured their third championship, tying the Osaka Evessas league record for the most team titles.
Under Isas direction, Ryukyus dominating defense and efficient offense overwhelmed opponents. Now, more of the same is expected in the leagues 10th anniversary season.
The 44-year-old Isas contract renewal was made official on Monday. American assistant Keith Richardson, who joined the club in 2008, will also be back on the Kings bench next season.
On the same day, the team announced guards Draelon Burns, Narito Namizato and Ryuichi Kishimoto and forward Anthony McHenry have reached contractual agreements with the club for the coming season.
Looking ahead to the upcoming campaign, Isa said hes reinvigorated by the work that awaits him and his team. There are new challenges, he said in a statement released by the team, and the goal for the 2014-15 has not been achieved (yet). In order to accomplish it, I will devote myself to building the team from scratch.
The Kyoto Hannaryz, meanwhile, finalized a two-year deal with coach Honoo Hamaguchi, who has guided the Kansai club to the Final Four in each of his three seasons at the helm. The Hannaryz are still vying for their first championship.
Hamaguchi, the only coach in league history to be in charge of a team on Day One of each season, received a two-year contract.
I am please to take command in Kyoto next season, said Hamaguchi. Ill try to do my best
Rebuilding mode: Coming off their worst season in franchise history (11-41), the Shimane Susanoo Magic are busy adding new players to the roster.
Just days after signing veteran guard Joe Chapman, the Bambitious Naras leading scorer (16.2 points per game) last season, the Magic have wrapped up the paperwork to bring in forward Edward Morris, it was announced on Monday.
The 203-cm Morris, a Pittsburg State (Kansas) product, has played three seasons in the bj-league. The 30-year-old averaged 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds and threw down 57 dunks in 48 games for the Tokyo Cinq Reves in 2013-14. He spent the two previous seasons with the Shinshu Brave Warriors.
Shimane coach Reggie Hanson believes both veterans are solid additions to the roster.
Both of those guys bring a lot of versatility to the positions they play on both ends of the floor, Hanson told The Japan Times. They are hard-working, team-first guys that are willing to make sacrifices for the sake of the team to win games.
In related news, guard Shohei Nakama, who had been with the franchise since its establishment in 2010, will play for his hometown Hiroshima Dragonflies, the expansion NBL squad, next season. The 186-cm Nakama appeared in only 14 games this past season.
Staying put: Coach James Duncan, who orchestrated the Rizing Fukuokas impressive turnaround in the final months of the 2013-14 campaign, will return to the bench, the team recently confirmed in a news release.
The Rizing were 11-17 before the Canadian mentor took over as sideline supervisor. From February to April, Fukuoka went 15-9 and earned a playoff spot that seemed highly unlikely based on its abysmal start.
Duncan admitted there were adjustments that had to be made for the team to become successful down the stretch last season.
(Now), I am looking forward to building a winning team, he said in a statement, referring to next season.
Indeed, the seeds were planted for future success based on the teams rapid improvement in February, March and April under Duncans watchful eye.
A players perspective: Asked his thoughts on new Shiga Lakestars assistant coach Asami Morita, the promoted female team manager, Lakestars forward Dionisio Gomez dished out this insight to The Japan Times: I truly believe she has all the tools (for the job). She is a hard worker. The most important thing is that she has her goals set. I believe she wants to be a head coach some day. This is a great step towards that goal.
She has good knowledge of the game. Now she is in a position where she can continue to grow.
On the move: Veteran guard Masahiro Kano, who played for the Rizing Fukuoka from 2007-14, has finalized a deal with Shiga for the upcoming season. Kano, who turns 30 on July 27, averaged 4.1 points in 49 games for the Rizing last season. He scored a career-high 5.5 ppg in 2012-13.
| Golden Kings dismantle Happinets in bj-league final As Kishimoto is named MVP- May.26, 2014 (by Emeka)|
According to the Japan Times, one run changed everything.The Ryukyu Golden Kings delivered the knockout blow in the third quarter of Sundays bj-league championship game against the Akita Northern Happinets. That carried head coach Tsutomu Isas team to a 103-89 victory and the franchises third title, which matches the league record set by the Osaka Evessa (2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08).With ruthless efficiency, the Golden Kings turned a two-point lead into a 20-point margin, using a 20-4 s... [read more]
According to the Japan Times, one run changed everything.
The Ryukyu Golden Kings delivered the knockout blow in the third quarter of Sundays bj-league championship game against the Akita Northern Happinets. That carried head coach Tsutomu Isas team to a 103-89 victory and the franchises third title, which matches the league record set by the Osaka Evessa (2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08).
With ruthless efficiency, the Golden Kings turned a two-point lead into a 20-point margin, using a 20-4 spurt that lasted nearly half of the third quarter at Ariake Colosseum.
Akita power forward Ruben Boykin had completed an old-fashioned three-point play, pumping his fist and high-fiving teammates at the 5:26 mark of the third quarter after a hard-earned putback that led to a free throw. That scoring sequence pulled the Northern Happinets to within 64-60.
Controlling the offensive glass they beat the Happinets 24-9 in that key statistic the Golden Kings created second chance after second chance for their high-powered offense. It helped fuel the super spurt. And at the same time, Ryukyu raised its intensity level, not unlike a high-powered sports car zooming into a high gear for the final laps of a marquee race. The Golden Kings offense simply overwhelmed their foe, and Akitas offense went cold, missing shot after shot after shot while quick-rotating defenders from the leagues No.1 defense (Ryukyu yielded a league-low 68.5 points per game in the regular season).
What was a fiercely competitive game became a one-sided contest.
Playoff MVP Ryuichi Kishimoto, who had zero points in Saturdays Western Conference final against the Kyoto Hannryz, had a hot hand all night, including during the pivotal run. Kishimoto finished with a game-high 34 points, including 7-for-12 from 3-point range. The 24-year-old guard also hauled in five rebounds. (In Ryukyus four playoff games, the Okinawan, a fearless gunner, flushed 15 of 30 3-point attempts and averaged 15.7 points.)
Early in the aforementioned spurt, three-time Best Five Team selection Anthony McHenry made a driving layup that seemed to have the trajectory of a line-drive double with a Louisville Slugger, and he was fouled. The subsequent free throw gave Ryukyu a 68-60 advantage with 4:34 to play in the third quarter, and Narito Namizatos layup off a turnover that was a Kings specialty on the night pushed the lead to 70-60.
Moments later, as Akita struggled to regain its offensive rhythm, Kings center Kibwe Trim sank two free throws to push the lead to 82-64, and Kishimoto followed with a textbook jumper.
Akitas Deshawn Stephens drained a shot to beat the buzzer and close out the third quarter, ending the run with his team trailing 84-66.
The Happinets pulled within 96-84 with under 2:30 remaining, but couldnt cut the margin to single digits.
Ryukyus defensive awareness and positioning were both impressive and consistent throughout the game.
All-Star Game MVP Yuki Togashi (30 points, specializing in slicing through traffic for tough layups, five assists, six turnovers), Richard Roby (17 points) and Ruben Boykin (17 points, 13 boards, six assists) carried the Akita offense, but credit the Kings defensive exploits for limiting the Happinets easy shots and opportunities to run up the score.
Kings guard Draelon Burns, a playoff hero for the 2012-13 champion Yokohama B-Corsairs, poured in 21 points, a fan-pleasing encore to his 27-point performance against Kyoto. Burns four 3-pointers and defensive tenacity paid big dividends.
Namizato, McHenry and Trim all scored 14 points for the 2013-14 league champs, who collected 50 rebounds (league legend and team icon Jeff Newtons jersey number; he now has a league-record six championships on his resume) and held the Happinets to 34.
Hard-working Trim, Newton and McHenry did their part in limiting 213-cm Akita big man Chas McFarlands effectiveness in the low post.
He was held to four points and four rebounds in 16-plus minutes of court time.
McHenry arrived in Okinawa in 2008 along with Newton, an anchor on the Osaka three-peat, and brought all-around athleticism and an ability to defend players at all five positions. This has remained a key trait for him and the teams success, winning that first title in May 2009 and adding a second in 2012.
The Kings are 3-1 overall in title games and have appeared in five Final Fours in their seven seasons in the league.
The spirited crowd of 10,026 featured loud chants from both Akita and Ryukyu supporters, and the back-and-forth competition saw the Happinets (43-13 overall) take an 18-10 lead on a Shigehiro Taguchi 3-pointer near the midway point of the opening quarter. Robys steal and jam made it 24-17, with Akita in front, and triggered a loud roar from their pink-clad fans.
The teams were tied at 24-24 after one quarter. Akita never held sole possession of the lead in the final 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Kings showed no signs of fatigue in the second quarter and put 31 points on the board.
Overall, Ryukyus 12-for-27 shooting from 3-point land doesnt look like jaw-dropping efficiency, but each of those shots was another dagger in the side of Akita, which was in catch-up mode but couldnt turn the tide.
Fittingly, Kishimotos jumper in the closing seconds accounted for the games final points.
At 7:11 p.m., the game ended and the Golden Kings were champions once again. Their 43-9 odyssey through the regular season was a warm-up act for what followed next: four victories in four playoff games.
Isa, the longtime assistant coach under ex-Ryukyu bench bosses Hernando Planells, Dai Oketani and Koto Toyama, carried the team back to the top and was all smiles in a post-game interview in front of TV cameras. He received the traditional doage (victory toss) from his players, three tosses, signifying each of the teams three titles.
When Kishimotos name was announced by commissioner Toshimitsu Kawachi as the MVP, he erupted with joy.
Looking at what the Kings accomplished this season, it isnt a revolutionary concept, but few teams manage to follow the winning blueprint as effectively as the Okinawan powerhouse.
The key ingredients? Organizational stability and championship experience on the roster and coaching staff.
Isa and assistant Keith Richardson have been with the team throughout their six playoff campaigns, and eight Golden Kings players have played for one or more title-winning bj-league teams. They expected to
be at Ariake, and their confidence shined throughout the title game with gutsy plays and composed clock management.
Grouses beat Hannaryz
Ed Odeven STAFF WRITER
In the bj-leagues third-place game, the Toyama Grouses defeated the Kyoto Hannaryz 84-62.
The Hannaryz, who appeared in their third consecutive Final Four, never staged a game-changing run. They trailed by as many as 26 points in the fourth quarter.
The Grouses jumped out to a 30-15 lead after one quarter. Kyoto was held to six second-quarter points, and it marked their sixth consecutive quarter at Ariake being held to under 20 points.
Toyama led 42-21 at halftime and 59-42 after three quarters, getting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Sam Willard for the final points of the period.
The Grouses won the Eastern Conference regular-season title for the first time in franchise history and also advanced to the Final Four for the first time. Under second-year coach Bob Nash, they finished with a 45-11 overall record.
The Hannaryz took second in the West, with third-year bench boss Honoo Hamaguchi guiding the club with a steady hand. They closed out the season with a 36-21 record.
Sam Willard paced Toyama with 20 points, adding 10 rebounds and two steals. Frontcourt mate Ira Brown had 16 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals. Masashi Joho finished with 14 points, four assists and two steals, while Takeshi Mito had 13 points and seven rebounds with two steals. Tatsunori Fujie added 12 points, draining three 3s for the Grouses.
Toyama out-rebounded Kyoto 54-43.
Yu Okada led the Hannryz with 15 points and Edwin Ubiles, who was held to zero points in the Western Conference final on Saturday by Ryukyu, added 13. Joe Werner chipped in with 12 points and David Palmer added nine and two blocks. Center Chris Holm supplied six points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
The Hannaryz were 4-for-21 from 3-point range. They finished the weekend 6-for-37 from beyond the arc.
| Brave Warriors avenge loss to 89ers Apr.21, 2014 |
| Nakama set to retire Apr.21, 2014 |
| Iwate cruises past Gunma, keeps victory streak alive Apr.21, 2014 |
| Joho powers Grouses past Evessa Mar.18, 2014 |
| East power Akita decides to make roster move: source Feb.7, 2014 |
| Shimizu leads HeatDevils past Hannaryz Jan.9, 2014 |
| Shimane struggling after departure of coach, top star Jan.9, 2014 |
| Akita making run for title Dec.8, 2013 |
| D-League teams draft five bj-league alumni Nov.6, 2013 |
| Murry leads Niigata past previously unbeaten Toyama Nov.6, 2013 |
| B-Corsairs slump to defeat against Big Bulls Nov.6, 2013 |
| Alvark beat Brex to get NBL up and running Oct.3, 2013 |
| Players react after NBL takes unilateral action Oct.3, 2013 |
| Nakamuras coaching tree stretches throughout league Sep.2, 2013 |
| Hitachi Sunrockers sign Darryl Webb Jul.28, 2013 |
| Kyoto set to join NBL for 2014-15 season Jul.22, 2013 |
| Yokohama to name Katsuhisa coach Jul.22, 2013 |
| Nara selects Toyama as first coach Jun.23, 2013 |
| Kyoto acquires forward Komoda Jun.23, 2013 |
| Nara takes Yamashiro with first pick in expansion draft Jun.23, 2013 |
| Toshiba shows determination in Game 3 win over Aisin As Brave Thunders take 2-1 series lead Apr.22, 2013 |
| Sea Horses win Game 5 to reclaim JBL crown Apr.22, 2013 |
| Shimane reaches 30 victories for first time in franchise history Mar.28, 2013 |
| Big contributions from post players, as bench propel B-Corsairs past Brave Warriors Feb.19, 2013 |
| Five 3-pointers seal victory for Niigata Jan.16, 2013 |
| Jets Defeat Broncos Jan.16, 2013 |
| Yokohama edges past Akita. Jan.16, 2013 |
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