Japanese basketball fans — still a niche group, to be sure — gobble up content about him, hoping he’ll lead the national team to prominence. Formed in 1930, it is based in Tokyo. After his only NBA season, Fazekas played for teams in Belgium, France and the Philippines before finding his second home in Japan. As Yuta grew up, Japanese basketball received largely apathetic attention from the nation’s media and sports fans. Basketball may be ready to take root in Japan. ‘Demon Slayer’ destroyed box-office records despite the pandemic, but why? He regularly drops 20-plus points in G League games, displaying a Joe Ingles-esque lefty 3-and-D skill set. Shinoyama said players came in with varying levels of fitness because their training environments haven’t been the same over the past several months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even during a low point in his career, he inherently understood his role as an ambassador for the sport and a representative of his country. Yuta, meanwhile, is being held up by a photoshoot for Dabudouri, a Japanese magazine. Eventually, she got tired of waiting and was close enough to toss her baby to Yuta. He hopes to make it happen next spring. Not just playing in the NBA, but also them helping the Japan national team be relevant in Asia — and maybe the world — is going to be huge.”. The first, Yuta Tabuse, played four games with the Phoenix Suns during the 2004-2005 season. FIBA organises the most famous and prestigious international basketball competitions including the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the FIBA World Championship for Women and the FIBA 3x3 World Tour. “I don’t want it to be 10 years or 15 years (later) and look back on what I could have done. The event will be held without spectators. But the fact that he prefers Dwight may shed some light on his situation in Memphis. During his prep school year, Yuta flashed enough 3-and-D potential to earn a three-star ranking from various recruiting services and an offer from George Washington. (Japan received that berth from FIBA at the end of March). Japan’s top professional league, The B.League — created in September 2016 as a merger between two other leagues that “used to hate each other,” according to Lee — exists solely for the purpose of the 2020 Olympics. Files are available under licenses specified on their description page. Rui Hachimura is clearly Japan’s most important piece. I feel comfortable here.”. ”I guess I had to do it. He lights up when I ask him who his favorite character is. She grabbed the baby, bowed, thanked Yuta, and left. Now you look at him and he’s in the NBA, and that’s a huge accomplishment.”. The official website of FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, and the governing body of Basketball. So far, it hasn’t. I didn’t even think about it, I just let my body move.”. Yuta’s career is in an awkward place, sandwiched between two opposing forces: Japanese adulation and American indifference. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. The men’s and women’s 3×3 teams will also play games during the event and four wheelchair basketball players will have a demonstration. As Miyaji emphasizes, “hope” for Japanese basketball refers to both Yuta and Rui, as well as a group of younger stars like Tanaka. It’s really good, really authentic. This article was reported in collaboration with Dat Winning. It was a really small town, so this is actually good for me. Rui may have a brighter future, but Yuta ignited the nation first. Because they’re only human, they could easily be negligent. ”Basketball definitely helped,” Yuta says, “because even though I couldn’t speak English, I was able to spend a lot of time with my teammates, which helped me learning English a lot.”. But that one time, the snowball fight? After the game, he hobbled out of the locker room on a crutch, his ankle swathed in ice. National Basketball League of Japan Teams. Sorry, but your browser needs Javascript to use this site. The website features live and on demand videos, basketball news, over 70,00 … The event was held in an empty arena, but the Japan Basketball Association hailed it as a success due to high viewership on streaming platforms Basket Live and Sponavi Live. The league's initial season in 2013-14 consisted of twelve teams. Rinse, repeat. Yuta reconciles these two forces by taking refuge in what he can control. According to Miyaji, Yuta and Rui in particular hold the keys to Japan’s basketball future. “The WNBA is playing in a bubble, but I don’t think other national teams and leagues have been able to play.”. The Japan Times LTD. All rights reserved. ”I just love basketball,” he says. As you might expect, Yuta does his best to ignore the noise. Daisuke Sugiura — a New York-based journalist who covered Japanese baseball stars Hideki Matsui and Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka in their primes — agrees. E-commerce site Rakuten has partnered with the NBA in Japan and sponsors the Golden State Warriors’ jerseys. Hovasse, who was an assistant on the Japan team that finished eighth at the Rio Games, says the country has an advantage because its provisional squad has been able to practice more than other nations during the pandemic. I love how the team values that. But he added that it was still meaningful for the players to assemble in one location and put on a good show for the fans. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. I don’t really miss Japanese food here because I can eat it (when I want).”, ”Obviously, I’ve missed my family, friends, and everybody, but I can talk with them on the phone all the time. ”No regrets,” he says. But here are three other names to watch. In addition, Lamas hopes to play as many as eight exhibitions against competitive nations from the Americas and Europe to get his team ready for the Tokyo Games. In Japan, headlines refer to Yuta as “The Special One” or “The Chosen One.” He started playing with Japan’s senior national team when he was 16 and he was the first Japanese player to ever receive a Division-I basketball scholarship. And if he does make it, he might change Japanese basketball forever. Once he finishes his shoot, Yuta leaves FedExForum through the front door, jogging 100 yards or so through the rain to Starbucks alongside Geoff Langham, the Grizzlies’ communications coordinator. The basketball talent coursing through his genes, his roots in the countryside, and his lanky 6’9 frame combine to make him the perfect folk hero for Japanese basketball. This page was last edited on 23 June 2018, at 02:31. Check out some of his highlights below when he scored 20 points in a July 1 NBA Summer League game. “I’m not going to say that I have zero worries,” star women’s player Ramu Tokashiki said. Reasonator; PetScan; Scholia; Statistics; Subcategories. ”I know that we have to be objective and neutral as a member of the media, but it’s very, very hard not to root for him. Sponsored contents planned and edited by JT Media Enterprise Division. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. On Sunday, Lamas and Hovasse will coach in an event called “Basketball Action 2020 Showcase” at Tokyo’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium. The official website of FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, and the governing body of Basketball. During a Grizzlies preseason scrimmage before the 2018-19 season, Yuta needed a separate press conference area to accommodate a group of approximately 20 credentialed Japanese media members. Two Hustle players push through the doors and head outside, still dressed for practice in team-issue hoodies and basketball shorts. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. According to the JBA, around 250 people — including players and others involved in the event — were given PCR tests.

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