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Well-traveled star Woods joins Cinq Reves

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

High-scoring forward Ricky Woods, who once set the bj-league’s single-game scoring record with 52 points while playing for the Oita HeatDevils, is on the move again.

The 28-year-old New Orleans native has joined the Tokyo Cinq Reves, the expansion team announced on Friday.

The 194-cm Southeastern Louisiana University product was granted his release from the Miyazaki Shining Suns (4-26, worst record in the 10-team Western Conference) earlier this week.

Woods averaged 20.6 points per game for the Akita Northern Happinets last season. He was the league’s No. 2 scorer in 2009-10 (24.1) and fifth-leading rebounder (11.7) while with the HeatDevils.

In 19 games with Miyazaki, Woods averaged 19.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists. He’s expected to suit up for Tokyo (11-19) against the visiting Niigata Albirex BB (22-8) this weekend at Komazawa Olympic Park Gymnasium.

The Cinq Reves announced last week that it has agreed to terms with Lee Cummard on a basic contract, but coach Motofumi Aoki told reporters on Sunday it was unclear when he would join the team, noting the BYU product needed to obtain a work visa. Assistant general manager Rieko Suzuki did not respond to an email inquiry on Friday about the situation.

Now, Cummard, a Kyoto Hannaryz guard in 2011-12, is set to join Okapi Aalar of the Belgian League, according to published reports. Former Shinshu Brave Warriors star Derek Raivio currently plays for Okapi, averaging 14.6 points and 3.3 assists through 13 games.

The current single-game scoring record in the bj-league is 53 points, set by then-Rizing Fukuoka forward Michael Parker on Nov. 7, 2010, against the Takamatsu Five Arrows.

On the air: Popular guard Nile Murry of the Albirex will appear on FM Port 79.0′s “Good Morning Port City” program on Saturday from 7:15 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.

Visit www.fmport.com for more details (in Japanese).

Takushi upate: After weeks of hand wringing by team and league officials, the Oita HeatDevils have finally traded two-time Best Five guard Naoto Taksuhi to the Iwate Big Bulls.

The move became official on Friday evening.

The Okinawa native did not accept a massive pay cut when the bankrupt team restructured its Japanese players’ contracts and released imports Matt Lotitich, Wendell White (now with Hamamatsu), Cyrus Tate and Taj Finger (now with Niigata). And his status was in limbo since early December.

Now, Takushi, who has had stints with the Ryukyu Golden Kings, Kyoto Hannaryz, Niigata and Oita since 2007, reunites with his former Golden Kings coach, Dai Oketani, who has guided the Big Bulls to a 21-9 record in his first season as the Tohoku club’s bench boss.

Takushi has also suited up for the Aisin Sea Horses in the JBL.