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Golden Kings face Taiwan, Korea in season warm-ups

Date Posted: 2009-09-17

With a pair of new players on its roster, the Japan Basketball League champion Ryukyu Golden Kings are on the hardwoods, practicing for a pair of weekend contests against winners of Korea and Taiwan leagues.

Okinawa’s Golden Kings, who rolled to the league championship in only its second season, is gearing up for the new season, set to start in just a few weeks. The friendly matches at the Asia Basketball Tournament in the Okinawa Convention Center will introduce two new players signed in the off-season.

Okinawan Tsubasa Yonamine, a 26-year-old who’s been with the Oita Heat Devils the past three seasons, joins the Golden Kings as a guard. “Okinawa is my home town and I’m so glad I can play at home,” the 173cm, 70kg Yonamine says. “I hope to repay Okinawa for all its efforts in helping me develop as a basketball player.”

A 28-year-old American from North Carolina has been signed by the Golden Kings, too. Center George Leach has been with the Takamatsu Five Arrows the past two seasons. The 210cm, 104kg center got his professional basketball start with the Belgium basketball league’s Gruut Ruben.

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