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Shimane parts ways with big man Singleton

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Shimane Susanoo Magic on Friday announced recently signed center Rashaad Singleton will not play for the bj-league team this season, citing family issues as the reason.

The team news release contradicts what this newspaper uncovered during interviews with several league sources this past week.

This Japan Times reported on Friday, citing multiple league sources, that unbeknownst to Singleton before arriving in Shimane Prefecture in August, he is ineligible to play until at least February after missing a deadline last February to retake a blood test. At that time, he was on the verge of joining the Gunma Crane Thunders. Now, he’s not on the verge of suiting up for the Susanoo Magic, either.

Singleton was on flu medication at the time of the blood test, sources said, and didn’t have time to take the mandatory test again, setting in motion a sequence of events that led to the Shimane announcement on Friday.

What remains unclear is why the Shimane front office was unaware of Singleton’s ineligibility before he signed a contract. What also remains unclear is if the league office is making an earnest attempt to inform all teams about players’ status before they are signed.

League PR spokesman Kentaro Umehara declined to comment when contacted by The Japan Times. Shimane president Daisuke Akaike did not respond to inquiries from this newspaper.

The 213-cm Singleton, one of the top interior defenders in bj-league history, was forced to leave Japan and begin his search for a new team. He played in Singapore last spring.

The fact that Singleton didn’t know about the one-year probation left him frustrated and disappointed, he told The Japan Times.

In related news, Shimane agreed to terms with forward Adrian Thomas on Friday. The 201-cm veteran played 10 games for the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix last season before departing in December. He averaged 16.7 points per game. In a November game against the now-defunct Miyazaki Shining Suns, the University of Miami (Florida) product drained 13 of 25 3-pointers in a 41-point outburst.

Thomas played 30 games for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League in the 2012-13 season, averaging 4.3 ppg.