Natural-born competitors hate to lose.
Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix guard/forward Wendell White fits the above description.
He proved as much on Feb. 7, when he stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over the HeatDevils a day after the team’s first and only loss of the month.
Of course, White’s triple-double excited Hamamatsu’s fans, but it also proved to be a spark for coach Kazuo Nakamura’s club.
The Phoenix (28-6), winners of seven straight games, are running away with the Eastern Conference regular-season title. White has played an instrumental role in the team’s success.
The UNLV product is the team’s leading scorer (24.0 points per game). In February, when the Phoenix had wins of 36, 37 and 40 points, White averaged 23.0 ppg in the month.
White is The Japan Times’ Offensive Player of the Month for February.
Defensive accolade: Though his team hasn’t generated many positive headlines, Takamatsu Five Arrows big man Antoine Broxsie is having a quality season.
Broxsie is No. 2 in the league in blocked shots (2.9 per game) and the fourth-leading rebounder (12.1).
The former Oklahoma State player helped the Five Arrows post a 3-3 record in the February. A tenacious rebounder and energetic shot-blocker, Broxsie is The Japan Times’ Defensive Player of the Month.
His shot-blocking skills were in the spotlight on Feb. 13, when he rejected six shots in a 16-point win over the Tokyo Apache. Indeed, those blocks helped alter the margin of victory.
He also had three-, four-, and five-block efforts in February.
In the Five Arrows’ final game of the month, Broxsie scored 18 points — it was his third straight 18-point game — and grabbed 25 rebounds (20 defensive boards), a sign of his commitment to the craft.