MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Former Pfeiffer University basketball fan favorite Yuki Yamaguchi (Tokyo, JAPAN) has signed a contract to play professionally in the Japan Basketball League with the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix. The Phoenix enter the 2011-2012 season having won back-to-back league titles, posting a 40-6 record a year ago.
The BJ league in Japan consists of 16 teams divided into an eastern and western conference. Rosters are limited to 15 players playing a 52-game schedule beginning on October 15th. “I’m so glad to be playing with the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix and thank them for giving me a chance to play here,” remarked Yamaguchi. “I want to get better and have a lot to learn from their coaches and players. This will be my rookie year in the pros, but I will do my best.”
“Yuki is one of the finest young men to come through our program in some time,” stated Falcons head coach Jeremy Currier. “When Yuki arrived on campus, he struggled to understand the English language, and within one year, he was a member of the NABC Honors Court for his academic achievement having one of the highest grade point averages in our program.”
First year head coach Ryuji Kawai will guide the Phoenix in 2011-2012 after working in the assistant ranks for more than 10 years. Kawai takes over for longtime coach Kazuo Nakamura.
“Yuki’s hard work and dedication to doing things the ‘right way’ was a tremendous example in his time here, and will be invaluable for the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix club,” said Currier. “Pfeiffer University is so proud of Yuki and his accomplishments, as he has earned everything through hard work and dedication to excellence.”
The Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix will open up their 52-game slate in October against the Shinshu Brave Warriors.