EUROBASKET HAS THE PLEASURE OF SITTING DOWN WITH FIBA ASIAN VETERAN CHRIS GARNETT, RECENT ADDITION TO TOCHIGI BREX IN THE JAPANESE JBL. THE EXPERIENCED BIG MAN WAS SIGNED TO HELP SOLIDIFY THE POST AND PROVIDE LEADERSHIP TO THE CLUB BY VIRTUE OF HIS SUCCESS IN THE REGION. WE SAT DOWN BRIEFLY WITH LAST YEAR'S ALL ASEAN LEAGUE BIG MAN.
EU: Chris, it is such a pleasure seeing you now in Japan's Top League. How have you found it here so far? CG: Thank you. First, I must say that Japan is an incredibly beautiful country, and then I must say that Japans Top League has a lot of talent. Basketball is certainly up and rising here and Japan should be recognized around the world for having very competitive basketball in this country. Talented players like Yuta Tabuse, the first and only Japanese player to play in the NBA, J.R. Sakuragai, Chris Moss, Ivan McFarlin, and many others right here in Japan who can easily compete and prevail in top-notch American, European, and Asian leagues.
EU: We see that the Club opted to go with a savvy vet to start the second half of the season. How smoothly or not has the addition to the team been? CG: Transitioning to a new Club can prove to be a bit rough at times due to the number of plays that I had to learn in a short timeframe, as well as learning team members style of play, basketball habits, and personalities. Its about meshing and bonding with your team members to create a winning chemistry on and off the court. I hope to be an asset to my Club by bringing the experience, work ethics, and skills needed as the backbone of any winning team.
EU: We can see from the stats that you are seemingly not getting much the on the floor, although each time you play 10 minutes you are only 1 rebound or 1 point away from a double double. Have you any thoughts on this? CG: Coach Palmer, who is an outstanding coach, has certain plays that he likes to run and those plays do not necessarily call for a lot of interaction on my part right now. The JBL limits foreign players to only one in the game at any given time, and Ivan (the other foreign player) does a great job when I am not in the game. So, for every minute that I am in the game, I try to produce like we are up 1 with 30 seconds left in the game. Head Coach knows best, and I am hopeful that my playing time will increase.
EU: From a mathematical standpoint, you are averaging 1 point and 1 rebound for every minute and a half played. That should equate into All Star numbers given there is adequate time on the floor. Is the club still familiarizing themselves to you? CG: I agree. That should equal to some big numbers, and I am optimistic that I will be given adequate time on the floor. In the meanwhile, the familiarity between me and the Club has been solidified.
EU: I have heard and read quite a bit of things coming from the ASEAN League questioning your return there. Have any of the media, press or fans from last season reached out to you? Seeing that you are now in the Top League in the Region, what are your thoughts on returning to familiar haunts? CG: While the media or press or fans have not reached out to me, I thoroughly enjoyed playing in the ASEAN League. If the opportunity presented itself with the right circumstances, there is a possibility that I might consider it. The ASEAN fans and coaches were some of the greatest. I can only hope that playing in the Top League in the Region will have its rewards.
EU: Seven rounds and fourteen games remaining in this second half of the season, do you feel that the Club can make the needed adjustments to reach the playoffs? Currently Tochigi is sitting only 2 games behind Panasonic for the 4th place in the League. Having seen the Clubs here, what are your thoughts on reaching 4th? CG: There is a tremendous amount of talent in this League, and everybody is playing tough, hard ball to make the playoffs. For every best foot put forward by the other Club, Tochigi has got to bring one better. I am ready, willing, and able to make any adjustments needed to help take Tochigi to the playoffs and to the championship. As a Team and Club with a smart Head Coach, I know we can do it.
EU: There has also been talk of a spring/summer signing in Latin America for you. How much interest do you have in another 10-11 month stint of professional play? Last year, we saw you depart the ASEAN League and finish the regular season in Turkey only then to depart for Qatar for Cup competition. CG: Im laughing hysterically because the rumor mill is going 150 mph. Under the right circumstances, another 10-11 months of play would be very much welcomed. I can easily adapt to most situations. Right now, I have several irons in the fire as far as the spring and summer and I cant pinpoint exactly where I will be or what I will be doing. After the JBL season ends, I will focus more on which direction I will be headed.
EU: Would you like to leave anything with us as you head into the stretch run? CG: I cant leave without giving a shout-out to my fan base and to my friends in distant lands where I have traveled. I want to say thank you to all of my wonderful fans and friends who have given of their time and energy to come together and support me and my teammates now and over the years. You put the F in Fans when it comes to loyalty, support, and commitment and I love you all. And Sports Fans, I read in the Health Prevention magazine that there are actual health benefits of being a sports fan. Being a sports fan inspires you to get active; watching Live Sports is a workout in itself; you will live longer; its good for your relationships; and it will make you smarter. So, until we see each other again, Good Health To You!
EUROBASKET WOULD LIKE TO WISH CHRIS THE BEST AS HE MAKES THE PUSH FOR STRONG PLAYOFF POSITION IN THE JAPANESE JBL. WE KNOW THAT ONLY GREAT THINGS WILL COME WHERE HE IS CONCERNED. WE ARE ANXIOUS TO SEE THE TOCHIGI CLUB AND THE 2ND HALF OF THE JBL. BEST WISHES CHRIS!
Toyama retains Nash for 2016-17 season - 3 days ago
According to the Japan times, veteran coach Bob Nash will remain at the helm as the Toyama Grouses enter a new era. The 2015-16 bj-league championship runner-up squad announced last weekend that Nash would remain in charge for the upcoming season, when Toyama begins play in the new B. League's 18-team first division. The B. League season tips off in late September. The first division also features the Ryukyu Golden Kings, who captured the final bj-league title by beating Toyama on May 1... [read more]
According to the Japan times, veteran coach Bob Nash will remain at the helm as the Toyama Grouses enter a new era.
The 2015-16 bj-league championship runner-up squad announced last weekend that Nash would remain in charge for the upcoming season, when Toyama begins play in the new B. League's 18-team first division.
The B. League season tips off in late September. The first division also features the Ryukyu Golden Kings, who captured the final bj-league title by beating Toyama on May 15 at Ariake Colosseum.
The Grouses have a .726 regular-season winning percentage (151-57) during Nash's four seasons on the bench. They have advanced to the postseason four times and appeared in two Final Fours.
A former University of Hawaii player, assistant coach and head coach, Nash, 65, was named the bj-league's 2015-16 Coach of the Year and guided the Grouses to the Eastern Conference regular-season title with a 39-13 record and their first appearance in the title game.
During Nash's pro career, he played for the NBA's Detroit Pistons (1972-74) and Kansas City Kings (1977-79), and also saw time with the ABA's San Diego Conquistadors (1974-75) and the Alvik basketball club based in Stockholm, in the Swedish League (1975-77).
According to thr Japan times, the provisional Japan men's national basketball team entered its third training camp at Tokyo's National Training Center on Wednesday. Head coach Kenji Hasegawa selected 16 players for the squad on Tuesday, but Ryusei Shinoyama and Naoto Tsuji of the Toshiba Brave Thunders and Kosuke Kanamaru, Ryoma Hashimoto and Makoto Hiejima of the Aisin SeaHorses, all of whom played in the NBL Finals which ended Sunday, didn't participate in the afternoon practice on the... [read more]
According to thr Japan times, the provisional Japan men's national basketball team entered its third training camp at Tokyo's National Training Center on Wednesday.
Head coach Kenji Hasegawa selected 16 players for the squad on Tuesday, but Ryusei Shinoyama and Naoto Tsuji of the Toshiba Brave Thunders and Kosuke Kanamaru, Ryoma Hashimoto and Makoto Hiejima of the Aisin SeaHorses, all of whom played in the NBL Finals which ended Sunday, didn't participate in the afternoon practice on the first day of the camp.
Hasegawa said that all five players were hurt and hinted that the injuries to Kanamaru and Tsuji were a little more serious.
'It's tough,' Hasegawa said with a sigh. 'They are expected to return on Saturday, but to be honest, I'm not sure how much Kanamaru and Tsuji will have gotten better by then.'
Despite the situation, 'Akatsuki Five' is dead serious about earning a spot at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics through the qualifying tournament.
Japan earned a spot at the 18-team qualifying competition, which will be played in Belgrade, Manila and Turin, Italy, by finishing fourth at last year's FIBA Asia Championship.
'When we played at the Asia Championship last year, I had never thought that I wanted to win and play in the Olympics as much as then,' Japanese star point guard Yuta Tabuse said. 'We still have hope. We are going to stick to winning every game playing as hard as we possibly can.'
Meanwhile, one standout player on the roster is George Washington standout Yuta Watanabe, who wrapped up his second season with the Colonials, an NCAA Division I team, with the championship in March's NIT Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Watanabe is available to play for Team Japan after opting to skip the first of the school's two summer semesters.
Watanabe, who reunited with the national team for the first time in a year, said that he felt a little rusty as his season ended a while ago but excited about the opportunity to represent his country.
The 21-year-old is the youngest player on the team, which has an average age of 28.2. But he said he has no intentions of backing off as he tries to make the final cut for Olympic qualifying.
'Once you get on the court, it doesn't matter how old you are,' Watanabe said. 'Somebody will not make the team in the end, but I consider my teammates are rivals, so I would like to show what I can do as much as I can.'
The training camp will continue until Sunday. The team heads to China to compete in the Atlas Challenge invitational tournament from June 14-19.
The 12-man roster for Olympic qualifying will be announced after the Atlas Challenge.
The final Olympic qualifying tournament will be played July 4-9. The winners of each venue will advance to the Rio Games.
Japan, which is ranked 48th in the world, is in Group B of the Belgrade tourney along with Czech Republic and Latvia.
Coach Charlie Parker has been hired as Head Coach by the Chinese Taipei Basketball Federation. Parker already joined the Team in Taiwan some days ago and started his new duty. Coach Parker comes from 12 seasons in NBA, where he worked as Assistant Coach of the Dallas Mavericks ( 1999-2007) and for the New Orleans Pelicans ( 2007-2011). Coach Parker won also a League Title in Bahrain when he was the Head Coach of Al Muharraq during the season 2012/2013. While last season he coached Gunma C... [read more]
Coach Charlie Parker has been hired as Head Coach by the Chinese Taipei Basketball Federation. Parker already joined the Team in Taiwan some days ago and started his new duty. Coach Parker comes from 12 seasons in NBA, where he worked as Assistant Coach of the Dallas Mavericks ( 1999-2007) and for the New Orleans Pelicans ( 2007-2011). Coach Parker won also a League Title in Bahrain when he was the Head Coach of Al Muharraq during the season 2012/2013. While last season he coached Gunma Crane Thunders (BJ League - Japan).
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