Point guard Takumi Ishizaki is poised to become the first current Japan national team player to join a bj-league team, The Japan Times learned on Saturday.
Ishizaki will play for the expansion Shimane Susanoo Magic this season, a source said.
The talented 26-year-old likes Shimane coach Zeljko Pavlicevic’s style of play and wants the opportunity to play under the well-regarded veteran leader, the source added.
The 188-cm Ishizaki, a Tokai University product, averaged 11.0 points, 2.9 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 40 games for the JBL’s Toshiba Brave Thunders last season. He shot 55.4 percent from 2-point range, 36.5 percent on 3-pointers and 75.5 percent at the free-throw line. Toshiba is coming off a 22-20 season.
Ishizaki spent several weeks in Germany training with a second-division pro club this spring.
“He’s the hardest worker I’ve ever seen,” the source said. “He’s got a great work ethic. He’s more of a scorer than a passer.”
The Susanoo Magic have several roster spots available for the upcoming season, which tips off in October.
In the recent FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup in Lebanon, Ishizaki poured in 25 points on Aug. 13 against Jordan.