Columbia star K.J. Matsui signs with Rera Kamuy

by Ed Odeven

K.J. Matsui will begin his pro hoop career with the JBL’s Rera Kamuy Hokkaido.

Matsui traveled from Tokyo to Hokkaido to meet with team officials this week and finalize his first contract, he told The Japan Times.

The team reported on its Web site that it has signed Matsui, who wrapped up his collegiate career at Columbia University this spring.

A Tokyo native, the 188-cm shooting guard brings an abundance of overseas hoop experience to his new team. He played high school ball at powerhouse Montrose Christian School in Maryland before moving on to Columbia.

Matsui is third all time on Columbia’s 3-pointers made list (173). He played in 105 Division I games during a solid collegiate career.

Veteran Rera shooting guard Takehiko Orimo, a mainstay on the national team, has been widely regarded as the top perimeter threat for years.

Rera Kamuy’s 2009-10 season tips off in October. The team went 14-21 last season, finishing seventh in the eight-team JBL.