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Fukuoka hires Tuck

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Former Chinese Basketball Association star Mack Tuck has been hired as the Rizing Fukuoka’s new head coach, a source close to the situation confirmed Friday morning.

The team made an announcement later in the day.

“It’s a great honor for me to be named the head coach of the Rizing Fukuoka (for) the upcoming 2013-2014 season,” Tuck said in a statement posted on the team’s website.

“My only goal is to bring home the championship. I can’t wait to get there and start working to achieve that goal. I promise hard work and dedication. And I want to thank in advance the fans for their unconditional support…”

The Rizing lost 101-90 to the Yokohama B-Corsairs in the title contest on May 19, the final game Atsushi Kanazawa coached the team. He is now the NBDL squad TGI D-Rise’s bench boss.

Tuck, who resides in Texas, had serve as an assistant coach for the CBA’s Shandong Lions under former NBA bench boss Bob Weiss (2009-11).

Tuck was the Shandong junior team’s head coach in 2011-12.

He averaged more than 28 points per game in 2008-09 for Shandong.

The Central Oklahoma alum’s playing career also included stops in the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Venezuela, Bulgaria, Portugal and United Arab Emirates.

The 38-year-old Tuck served as an assistant coach for Northwood (Texas) University, a small, private NAIA school which recently joined the Sooner Athletic Conference, last season.

Also Friday, it became official that former B-Corsairs star guard Draelon Burns has joined the Akita Northern Happinets. This newspaper first reported the deal on July 3.

Moves finalized: Meanwhile, on Friday the defending champion Yokohama B-Corsairs posted an updated staff page on their website.

Ex-head coach Reggie Geary’s assistant, Michael Katsuhisa, has been named the team’s new head coach. Veteran forward Taketo Aoki has been hired as Katsuhisa’s assistant.

No other details were released by the team or league at press time.

Aoki, 39, has played in the bj-league since its inception in 2005.