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Apache ink ex-prep phenom Tyler

by Ed Odeven

The Tokyo Apache’s aggressive offseason overhaul plan continues in overdrive.

The team signed teenage power forward Jeremy Tyler on Thursday, adding a player who took the courageous — and historic — decision to skip his senior season at San Diego High School to play for the Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli League.

When he left San Diego last year, Tyler was considered a potential NBA Draft top overall pick. Then the 210-cm Tyler, who turned 19 on June 21, played sparingly for the Israeli team, averaging 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 10 games before quitting in mid-March five weeks before the season’s end.

Bob Hill, the Apache’s new bench boss, has coached four NBA teams during a lengthy career. He brings instant credibility to the bj-league team and can be an important mentor for the youthful talent, who is now projected as the No. 9 pick in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft, according to draftexpress.com

“We are extremely excited for Jeremy to join our team in Tokyo. His athleticism and size will be a major presence in our frontcourt this season,” Apache general manager Conor Neu said in a statement.