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JBL expansion team names its new coach

Date Posted: 2009-06-11

The Kyoto Hannaryz, the Basketball Japan league’s newest club, has named its new head coach as it prepares for its inaugural season this fall.

Former National Basketball Association player David Benoit has been chosen to lead the fledgling squad. He formerly coached the Saitama Broncos. The Hannaryz is the league’s 13th club.

The Kyoto squad also integrated Kazuto Aono, also a former Saitama player and assistant coach, to serve as its assistant coach and interpreter for Benoit. The 41-year-old Benoit had played with Saitama, then retired at the end of the 2006-2007 season and became the team’s head coach. Under Benoit’s hand, Saitama posted a 21-23 record in 2007-2008, then fell to 19-33 last season.

Benoit played for the University of Alabama, then 492 games in the National Basketball Association for the Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets. Benoit is already busy in the new position, preparing for the BJ-League player draft to be held on Monday.

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