There are currently 6809 ex-college players, who play 2016-17 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 10/17/2016) 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."
| Constants problems characterised the bj-league's 11 year history- Sep.6, 2016 (by Emeka)|
According to the Japan times, mismanagement was often at the heart of the bj-league's biggest problems throughout its rocky 11-season history. The league grew so fast (from six to eight to 10 to 12 to 13 to . . . eventually 24 teams this past season (two clubs also folded and another defected), and the league and teams' office staff turnover was so high, people never really had a chance to grow into their jobs. Or get better at them. There was zero stability across the board. Bottom... [read more]
According to the Japan times, mismanagement was often at the heart of the bj-league's biggest problems throughout its rocky 11-season history.
The league grew so fast (from six to eight to 10 to 12 to 13 to . . . eventually 24 teams this past season (two clubs also folded and another defected), and the league and teams'
office staff turnover was so high, people never really had a chance to grow into their jobs. Or get better at them.
There was zero stability across the board.
Bottom line: It affected the product.
As Basketball Navi scribe Kei Sadayama told Hoop Scoop in February 2011, 'Expansion and growing the bj-league are not good moves. . . . If the number of teams increases,
unqualified players will also increase.'
Unfortunately, expansion never stopped. The league never had a chance to grow and mature in a common-sense manner.
By the 11th season, the talent was spread too thin across too many teams with too many game officials not experienced or qualified enough to be working at the pro level.
What's more, the decrease in import players on each team (from five to four to three) created an uneven flow to many games, with the problem compounded by alternating-
quarter import quota rules (which changed several times over the years) that hampered the ability of coaches to do their jobs in a sensible, legitimate way.
In May 2009, Tokyo Apache forward Dameion Baker suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in the championship game against the Ryukyu Golden Kings at Ariake Colosseum. (What's
more, there wasn't an ambulance at the arena on stand-by; someone could've had a life-threatening injury.)
Baker's severe injury required surgery and physical rehabilitation. But it turned out that then-team CEO Manabu Saiki's staff didn't have medical insurance for Baker. And in a long,
drawn-out dispute with Baker, including four face-to-face meetings with team officials, Saiki refused to pay for all of Baker's medical bills.
Baker returned to his home in North Carolina to complete physical rehab, so he could start working again in the family construction business. Baker said the Apache offered to pay
for half of his rehab costs in North Carolina. That promise was broken. His bill totaled $4,500, he told The Japan Times, and received $245 from Tokyo.
If the league had a strong administration, it might have been able to force the Apache to meet its obligations. And if a players' union had existed and addressed the issue in an
aggressive manner to FIBA, basketball's world governing body, maybe conditions could've improved for players who were exploited by some teams.
Another shocking saga: The Osaka Evessa and league office, spearheaded by commissioner Toshimitsu Kawachi, forced iconic superstar forward Lynn Washington to retire in
April 2012 after he was exonerated of drug charges - suspicion of smuggling about 1 kg of marijuana into Japan - related to his detention by Osaka Prefectural Police that
Washington's wife, Dana, pleaded guilty to drug possession. The package, discovered by customs officials, was addressed to her, according to police reports. Her lawyer
showed her California medical marijuana prescription to court officials, this newspaper reported, and she was released from police custody in May 2012 after being detained in
Lynn Washington, a two-time regular-season MVP and two-time All-Star Game MVP, served 18 days in police custody. He never failed a drug test. The Japanese court system
found him not guilty, and yet he was denied the right to continue his career here. He brought winning ways to the Niigata Albirex BB in the old JBL, starting in 2000, and helped
make the three-time champion Evessa the bj-league's original dynasty. He was a beloved player throughout the league, too.
Despite due process, the bj-league ignored common decency and refused to give Washington, then 34, a second chance to remain with his team. (Many of the team's fans
refused to forgive the Evessa for this and/or abandoned support of them, basketball insiders told Hoop Scoop.)
Lacking gravitas and necessary experience, the league's media relations department allowed teams to bully the media. For instance, the Shiga Lakestars did so to Basketball Navi
during the 2010-11 season after team CEO/GM Shinsuke Sakai didn't like an article that contained post-game quotes from Lakestars guard Takamichi Fujiwara that were critical of
officiating from a Jan. 15, 2011, contest.
Fujiwara was handed a one-game suspension by the league, and Sakai mulled the possibility of banning Basketball Navi, which provided comprehensive coverage of the entire
league, from having access to his team.
Moreover, the Kyoto Hannaryz issued a threat via a league official at halftime of a game to The Japan Times (when this reporter was on deadline in Tokyo, working) during the
2009-10 season, claiming comments made by fired head coach David Benoit after his dismissal were all lies. Actually, this writer accurately reported what Benoit said during a
wide-ranging phone conversation. The Hannaryz's threat to 'not allow' coverage of their team failed to come to fruition.
Then, in October 2013, the bj-league issued an unprecedented league-wide ban on The Japan Times that stemmed from my reporting that an informed source said the Kyoto
Hannaryz were planning to defect to the rival NBL (the JBL's successor) for the 2014-15 season. All media access was declared off limits by the league office, but this
newspaper's year-round, in-depth coverage continued.
The ban was lifted at the end of March 2015, after FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann and others were pressured to push the league to lift the ban, and this was at a time
when FIBA had handed the Japan Basketball Association a global ban for failing to merge the NBL and bj-league before an October 2014 deadline. (The merger eventually
happened, and that's why the bj-league and NBL joined forces with the NBDL to create the new B. League for the upcoming season.)
Despite the media ban, numerous sources refusing to follow instructions and continued to communicate with The Japan Times. It later became crystal clear, through numerous
talks with several league insiders, that sources who weighed in on the original source's comments would be blackballed by the Hannaryz front office and/or have trouble finding
work in Japan pro basketball.
Former Ole Miss scoring sensation John Neumann, a former ABA and NBA player who had coached in Germany, Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel, China, Saudi Arabia, among other
places, before arriving in Japan in 2007 to lead the expansion Rizing Fukuoka, expressed frustration about the team's ineffective front office. During the Rizing's inaugural season,
he said that he'd 'never worked for a basketball team where front office (personnel) didn't know anything about basketball.'
Several teams had key decisions makers without the necessary skills to properly oversee basketball operations.
And it wasn't always about keeping costs down. Many teams simply didn't demonstrate that they valued proven leaders who could establish the foundation for future success.
As a fledgling circuit, the bj-league went out of its way to limit its exposure to the outside world. Its website had limited English information for years (then dropped its link to The
Japan Times' basketball page), and that info was reduced to virtually nothing over its final few seasons.
Prospective coaches and players and agents who wanted to do business with the league routinely inquired about how to reach out to key contacts at the league office and its
teams via email, sending those questions repeatedly in emails to Hoop Scoop. Subsequent correspondence to this columnist often showed that coaches, players, agents and
others usually didn't even receive responses from the league office and teams.
Translation: They were wasting their time trying to land jobs in the league.
Longtime coach Brad Greenberg, the former Philadelphia 76ers general manager who drafted Allen Iverson No. 1 in the 1996 NBA Draft, held talks with the Lakestars' Sakai about
filling the team's coaching vacancy in May 2011. He also inquired about several other coaching posts in the league, according to league sources.
In 2012, accomplished NBA big man Tree Rollins, who played in the NBA from 1977-95 and began his coaching career in 1993 while still playing for the Orlando Magic, also made
several inquiries about bj-league coaching opportunities. Before then, Rollins' extensive coaching career included work as an assistant for the Magic, Indiana Pacers and
Washington Wizards as well as time as head man for the WNBA's Washington Mystics. (Not surprisingly, nothing materialized; instead, multiple novices in their 20s rose to top jobs
in the bj-league.)
In January 2012, veteran swingman Curtis Terry of the Akita Northern Happinets was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting three cans of chuhai, a Japanese alcoholic beverage,
from an Akita convenience store, then fleeing to a local restaurant, where the arrest took place. He was let go by the Northern Happinets, whose management apologized
profusely in subsequent media appearances.
More bad publicity for the league arrived in April 2014, when then-Fukuoka team president Go Takenaka was among five individuals arrested by Tokyo Metropolitan Police on
suspicion of embezzling 380 million in a case involving First-Consul. Takenaka had served as president of First-Consul, a Tokyo-based consulting company, before joining the
Rizing in 2012. At the time of the arrest, three current and one former company employee were arrested along with Takenaka.
Speaking to The Japan Times, several years ago, several Saitama Broncos players complained about the team's questionable policies, including, they said, handing out cash in
envelopes to players one at a time in the gym instead of using bank accounts for salary distribution. (As a result, former Saitama coach David Benoit, for instance, owed back
taxes after his tenure with the team, Hoop Scoop learned.)
The Oita HeatDevils' financial woes were well publicized throughout the league's history. The team's poor attendance contributed greatly to the team's problems. Simply put, Oita,
one of the league's original six teams, was a bad market after the financial crisis of 2008; the sustained fan interest wasn't there.
And despite multiple bankruptcies and ownership overhauls - with new companies being created and past debts shoved aside, including vendors who were stiffed of what
they were owed, sources said - the HeatDevils' woes never went away. The league office took over the team on multiple occasions, 'saving' it from collapse before another
During one 'Save The HeatDevils' campaign after the 2010-11 season, the team begged for fan donations, seeking to raise the equivalent of $550,000 at the time, on its official
website. Oita players and team staff also visited JR Beppu Station and stood outside a local sporting goods store to request donations.
In late November 2012, American stars Matt Lottich, Taj Finger, Wendell White and Cyrus Tate were told the HeatDevils couldn't afford to pay their salaries and they would be
released without receiving what they were owed. Most of the team's Japanese players would be brought back at reduced salaries of up to 80 percent, it was reported.
Oita's financial woes became a full-fledged financial crisis that month when the team revealed it didn't have 7 million for its November payroll for 19 individuals (players and
staff). When Lottich and his three foreign teammates were dumped by the HeatDevils, without being paid in full, his wife had just given birth to their third child within the previous
month, and his entire family was with him in Oita. It was disgraceful, unethical treatment.
Lottich, now the head coach at NCAA Division I Valparaiso University, spoke out about what happened in an exclusive interview with this newspaper during the height of the
'To use assets of a former company to form a new team, that's not right,' Lottich said in December 2012
'If you're bankrupt, you sell your assets . . . but the bj-league is using them (for a new company),' he added.
Despite all of the above, the bj-league could have had a real chance to thrive if each team had a real home and cultivated its fan base by using one arena.
Instead, the opposite was true. Exhibit A, I wrote in October 2012: According to the league's official guide book, 141 arenas will be used by the league's 21 teams this season,
including a league-high 12 for Gunma's 26 home games.
For more than a decade, the bj-league failed to truly promote its product to the masses despite nonstop growth. Sadly, the overwhelming majority of this nation's residents never
learned the names of the players and teams.
Lacking the will or the skill to land a major TV deal across the nation - and get game highlights on major news programs on a regular basis- the bj-league was doomed by its
own small-minded tactics and ineptitude.
| More uncertainty trailing former league stats - Jul.26, 2016 (by Emeka)|
According to Japan times, should statistical records from the bj-league, the JBL and its successor (NBL), the JBL2 and its successor (NBDL) be kept handy and recited frequently for the B. League? Or should the accomplishments of players and teams in Japan's men's basketball circuits be stored away and ignored, with the slate wiped clean for the upstart circuit? Statistical accomplishments help fans and the media gain knowledge and appreciation for players and teams, so starting from scr... [read more]
According to Japan times, should statistical records from the bj-league, the JBL and its successor (NBL), the JBL2 and its successor (NBDL) be kept handy and recited frequently for the B. League?
Or should the accomplishments of players and teams in Japan's men's basketball circuits be stored away and ignored, with the slate wiped clean for the upstart circuit?
Statistical accomplishments help fans and the media gain knowledge and appreciation for players and teams, so starting from scratch is not a completely realistic option here.
What the vast majority of the players, coaches and teams have done in years past will help to explain their identity as the 2016-17 season unfolds.
For instance, veteran forward Michael Parker, a newcomer this offseason to the Chiba Jets, was one of the most prolific scorers in both the bj-league with the Rizing Fukuoka and Shimane Susanoo Magic and provided a similar offensive spark for the NBL's Wakayama Trians and Toyota Alvark in past seasons. Parker's 53-point outburst for Fukuoka against the Takamatsu Five Arrows on Nov. 7, 2010, registered as the second-highest point total in bj-league history. Le'Bryan Nash eclipsed Parker's mark with a 54-point game for the Fukushima Firebonds on Feb. 28 against the Shinshu Brave Warriors.
Should those performances - and other similar impressive feats - be a part of the general talk about what teams in the B. League's new first, second and third divisions aim for?
The general view here is that there will be some recollection of past streaks, both good and bad, stats and trends. But inertia will carry the B. League away from broad comparisons to past teams and eras, at least right away in this new era.
One concern, though, would be that league and team officials don't rely on enough historical data to paint a reliable picture of who's who and what teams and individuals have accomplished or failed to do in past seasons in Japan.
Teaming up: Tohoku has been a growing stronghold for pro basketball since the Sendai 89ers set up shop in the bj-league in 2005, and were followed by four new teams - Akita Northern Happinets, Iwate Big Bulls, Aomori Wat's and Fukushima Firebonds - since 2010.
The region's other pro team, the Yamagata Wyverns, will team up with the aforementioned five clubs on July 20 for a planned basketball clinic in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.
The events in Ishinomaki will be held at the Aoba Junior High School gymnasium as part of the B. League's efforts to assistant with the Great East Japan Earthquake's reconstruction. Actor Masatoshi Nakamura and Link Tochigi Brex guard Yuta Tabuse are also scheduled to participate in the festivities and planned instruction for local elementary and junior high school students.
Leader returning to Lakestars: Standout power forward Julian Mavunga is back with the Shiga Lakestars for a second season, the team recently announced.
Mavunga, a Miami (Ohio) University alum, averaged 19.5 points in 51 games (49 starts) last season for the Lakestars.
'I'm excited to be returning to the Shiga Lakestars,' Mavunga, 26, said in a statement released by the team. 'I had a lot of fun last year competing at a high level with my teammates and my coach. We will all be excited to be a part of the new B. League and I look forward to competing all season and bringing success to the club.'
Pomare update: The Kanazawa Samuraiz, coming off a playoff appearance in their lone season as a bj-league club, have brought back dependable veteran Gyno Pomare to add continuity to the frontcourt as the team makes the transition to the B3, aka the third division.
Pomare, a University of San Diego product, bounced around the bj-league for more than half a decade with one-season stops with the Sendai 89ers (2009-10), Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix (2011-12), Kyoto Hannaryz (2012-13), Iwate (2013-14), Aomori (2014-15), then went to Kanazawa for the team's inaugural season.
In a news release, Pomare said his goal is to help the team earn promotion to the second division and then the first division.
In a follow-up interview with The Japan Times, Pomare said: 'I have a chance to grow with this team, and hopefully see it move up from B3 to B2. That is a positive.
'Head coach (Yukinori) Suzuki is the No. 1 reason to come back. It was very nice to feel wanted. He along with the (team) president met with me after the season in order to try to re-sign me. Other teams have wanted to sign me back, in the past, but Kanazawa really did all they could in order for that to happen.
'Secondly, almost all of our Japanese players are returning. We have proven ourselves already this season in being able to compete in the bj-league. We should be able to be very successful playing in B3.
'Lastly, the city, the fans, and my wife being able to walk back into her work, all made it an easy choice for us to return.'
Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Pomare noted that 'all things pointed to return to Kanazawa and winning in B3 and moving up to B2 is the ultimate goal.'
He added: 'I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead, and know with our team and coaching, we have a great chance to do big things.'
Las Vegas Summer League: Through Wednesday, Nash, the bj-league's leading scorer in its final season (2015-16), had appeared in four Summer League contests for the Milwaukee Bucks, getting limited playing time (averaging 3.0 points and 5.8 minutes).
He saw 10 minutes of court time Wednesday in an 81-64 loss to the Dallas Mavericks and had five points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
On Monday, Nash was held scoreless against the Memphis Grizzlies.
New boss in Takamatsu: Joe Navarro, who led the Hiroshima Lightning during their one season in the bj-league, was hired recently as the Takamatsu Five Arrows' new coach.
Navarro also worked as a Concordia University assistant from 2001 to 2012 in Portland, Oregon.
Navarro replaces Hiromichi Tsuda, who was the Takamatsu coach for one season.
The Lightning will not be a part of the B. League during the upstart circuit's inaugural season.
Another stop: Well-traveled mentor Koju Munakata takes over as the next coach of the Yamagata Wyverns, the second-division team recently announced.
Munakata, 49, was an assistant and head coach for Toyota in the old JBL and later served as the first sideline supervisor in Aomori Wat's history (2013-15) before a one-season stint running the show for the Shinshu Brave Warriors concluded in the spring.
Third-division moves: The Rizing Fukuoka have handed the coaching reins to a familiar face, bringing back Atsushi Kanazawa.
Kanazawa directed the team to a championship runner-up finish in the bj-league's 2012-13 campaign. He then left the team and coached the JBL2's TGI D-Rise for a season, followed by two seasons with the relocated franchise, then called the Passlab Yamgata Wyverns in the NBDL (the JBL's successor). Kanazawa also served as Takamatsu coach for the 2010-11 season. . . .
Elsewhere, coming off a 5-47 season in the bj-league, the Saitama Broncos have hired former American Collier St. Clair as their new coach.
St. Clair, 39, has worked as an assistant at both Southern Polytechnic State and Clark Atlanta University before spending the past five years in the United Arab Emirates as both an assistant and head coach.
| Nash stays on as Toyama bench boss for 2016-2017.- Jul.26, 2016 (by Emeka)|
According to Japan times, veteran coach Bob Nash will remain at the helm as the Toyama Grouses enter a new era. The 2015-16 bj-league championship runner-up squad announced last weekend that Nash would remain in charge for the upcoming season, when Toyama begins play in the new B. League's 18-team first division. The B. League season tips off in late September. The first division also features the Ryukyu Golden Kings, who captured the final bj-league title by beating Toyama on May 15 at... [read more]
According to Japan times, veteran coach Bob Nash will remain at the helm as the Toyama Grouses enter a new era.
The 2015-16 bj-league championship runner-up squad announced last weekend that Nash would remain in charge for the upcoming season, when Toyama begins play in the new B. League's 18-team first division.
The B. League season tips off in late September. The first division also features the Ryukyu Golden Kings, who captured the final bj-league title by beating Toyama on May 15 at Ariake Colosseum.
The Grouses have a .726 regular-season winning percentage (151-57) during Nash's four seasons on the bench. They have advanced to the postseason four times and appeared in two Final Fours.
A former University of Hawaii player, assistant coach and head coach, Nash, 65, was named the bj-league's 2015-16 Coach of the Year and guided the Grouses to the Eastern Conference regular-season title with a 39-13 record and their first appearance in the title game.
During Nash's pro career, he played for the NBA's Detroit Pistons (1972-74) and Kansas City Kings (1977-79), and also saw time with the ABA's San Diego Conquistadors (1974-75) and the Alvik basketball club based in Stockholm, in the Swedish League (1975-77).
| Toyama retains Nash for 2016-17 season Jun.21, 2016 |
| Japan names provisional men's basketball team Jun.21, 2016 |
| Golden Kings win fourth bj-league title May.20, 2016 |
| Nash ignites Fukushima to victory Apr.18, 2016 |
| Toyama beat Shinshu in opening game of the series Mar.15, 2016 |
| B-Corsairs looking to even Aoki's record Feb.12, 2016 |
| Ryukyu's Ravenel overpowers Kanazawa Jan.7, 2016 |
| Hannaryz looking good to contend for title Dec.4, 2015 |
| West' defense pays off Dec.4, 2015 |
| Albirex defeat Broncos Nov.3, 2015 |
| Broncos bow to Albirex Nov.3, 2015 |
| Hamamatsu target another league title. Oct.2, 2015 |
| Holm returns to Sendai Aug.29, 2015 |
| Warren joins Hamamatsu Aug.29, 2015 |
| Hamamatsu sign Warren Aug.29, 2015 |
| JPBL to face many challenges from inaugural season Jul.23, 2015 |
| Suzuki takes charge at Kanazawa Jun.20, 2015 |
| Akita, Iwate, Hamamatsu, Shiga advance to Final Four May.12, 2015 |
| Shiga's Toyama relies on mentor to improve Lakestars Apr.10, 2015 |
| Karimata, Jones carry Fukushima past Yokohama Mar.31, 2015 |
| Akita overcome struggling Tokyo Dec.19, 2014 |
| Shiga outplays Gunma in first bj-league contest for ex-NBA coach Parker, center Ely Oct.11, 2014 |
| Alvark hold off Kings spirited comeback Sep.6, 2014 |
| Gunma hires longtime NBA assistant Parker as new coach Aug.2, 2014 |
| Isa to lead champion Ryukyu again next season Jun.26, 2014 |
| Golden Kings dismantle Happinets in bj-league final As Kishimoto is named MVP May.26, 2014 |
| Brave Warriors avenge loss to 89ers Apr.21, 2014 |
Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.