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Golden Kings renew contracts, sign one new

Date Posted: 2012-08-03

Ryukyu Golden King stars Jeff Newton, Anthony McHenry and Dzaflo Larkai are returning to the Basketball Japan League champions, while the Okinawa squad’s management has inked a contract with Georgia University standout Terrance Woodbury for the coming year.

The contracts bring to four the total number of foreigners permitted on the BJL team. Newton and McHenry signed their contracts two weeks ago. A league rules change effective this season permits only four non-Japanese for the 2012-2013 season. Both McHenry and Newton are long-time veterans of the BJL.

Larkai joined the Golden Kings last season to strengthen inside action, but knee surgery before the season even got under way hampered his season. It was further marred last December when the British player injured his left thumb. At 203cm and 110kg, he’s now filling the Golden Kings center position. Larkai’s happy now; in his earlier play with the Higashimikawa Phoenix, Kouta Toyama was one of his coaches. Toyama is now the Golden Kings head coach.

“I'm really excited that I can still play for the Golden Kings this season, says Larkai. “I was in good condition the whole year and plan to make big contributions to the Golden Kings.”

The new guy on the Okinawa basketball block is Terrance Woodbury, a 25-year-old Virginia native who comes to the island from the Austin Toros, an NBA Development League team. The 201cm, 101kg forward was the only development league player to be in every game all season last year, as well as in the playoffs.

He’s billed as both an inside and outside shooter, and is credited with tremendous speed. He’s particularly a specialist in the jump shot, but observers say his actions are always tight around and under the basket. While at Georgia University, he was part of a team that claimed the South Eastern Conference Championship.

“I already heard about what a great team the Golden Kings were from the players in the United States, says Woodbury, “and I was longing to be such a professional player with a professional team. I'm so excited to play for the Golden Kings, and will put 100% of my power into the team.”

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