Kawamura leaves

The Associated Press

Takuya Kawamura, a guard in the Japan Basketball League, has opted not to play for Japan’s national men’s team, choosing instead to pursue a career in the NBA.

Kawamura, who had a JBL-leading points average of 20.4 this season, has hired an agent and will leave for the United States on Saturday, the Nikkansports newspaper reported Friday.

The Japanese men’s team, coached by American David Hobbs, opened its training camp on Thursday to begin its bid to qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

Kawamura, 22, plays for the Link Tochigi Brex, along with Yuta Tabuse, who played briefly for the Phoenix Suns in the 2004-05 season and is the only Japanese player to make it to the NBA.

The 193-cm Kawamura has been a member of Japan’s national men’s team since 2005.