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Okinawan selected in BJL annual draft

Date Posted: 2011-06-23

A 24-year-old Okinawan is one of 27 basketball players chosen in this year’s Basketball Japan League annual draft.

Tasuku Namizato was chosen by the Iwate Big Bulls, an expansion team heading into its inaugural season this fall. Namizato was one of only two players selected in the draft’s third round. He has JBL2 experience with Renova.

All eyes were on the four BJL expansion teams as they laid the foundation for their first seasons. Iwate took former Tokyo Apache forward Reina Itakura as the No. 1 pickin the expansion draft. The Chiba Jets had the No. 2 choice, choosing 29-year-old Hiroki Sato, a guard who averaged 6.3 points a game with the Oita HeatDevils. The third pick went to the Shinshu Brave Warriors, who made Takato Saito, a former Niigata Albirex BB point guard its choice.

The fourth expansion club, the Yokohama B-Corsairs, opted against selecting any players in the expansion draft, choosing instead to make selections in later rounds of the open draft. The new team did choose Kenji Yamada, who played for the JBL’s Link Tochigi Brex last season, in the rookie draft.

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