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Kyoto signs swingman Ubiles

Siena College product briefly played for Washington Wizards in 2011-12 season

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Kyoto Hannaryz have bolstered their roster with the addition of guard/forward Edwin Ubiles, who has spent the majority of the past two seasons in the NBA Development League.

Ubiles also appeared in four games for the Washington Wizards — on a 10-day contract — in the 2011-12 campaign. Averaging 13.0 minutes in four games in March 2012, he contributed 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds.

The bj-league team announced the signing on Monday.

Ubiles continues the Kyoto tradition of having one player with NBA experience every season. The franchise, now in its fifth season, featured longtime NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, followed by big man Lance Allred in 2012-12 and center Marcus Cousin last season. Former NBA small forward David Benoit was the first coach in Hannaryz history.

Kyoto reached the Final Four in each of the past two seasons under current coach Honoo Hamaguchi.

In a scouting report posted on nbadraft.net, Ubiles was described this way in June 2010: “A long, athletic, versatile perimeter player with an explosive first step. The combination of size, ball handling, and quickness gives him plenty of juice off the dribble which allows him to get to the rim, and he employs a very good pull-up jump shot. An efficient contributor that can pass, rebound, and defend.”

Ubiles split the 2012-13 season between two D-League squads (Springfield Armor and Santa Cruz Warriors). In 11 regular-season games for Springfield, he averaged 9.0 points, and in 14 games for Santa Cruz he poured in 7.8.

A 198-cm native of Brooklyn, New York, Ubiles played in 41 games (all starts) for the Dakota Wizards, the franchise that moved to Santa Cruz, and averaged 19.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.0 steals a game, earning D-League Rookie of the Year honors. He attended Siena College, a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference school.

As a senior in 2009-10, Ubiles’ player bio on the Siena Saints basketball home page offered this summary of his skills: “The most athletic player in the MAAC…Explosive, extremely skilled, multi-position talent…Plays above the rim…Long, lean and bouncy…Can score in a variety of ways…Creative with and without the basketball…Electrifies fans with rim-rocking dunks and lightning-quick first step…Equally effective on the perimeter and off the dribble…Has shown continued improvement in consistency, defense and shooting…”

Before turning pro, the 26-year-old Ubiles became the third-leading scorer in Siena history (1,939 points) while averaging 14.8 ppg during his college career. He has participated in LeBron James and Paul Pierce skills camps and has been quoted as saying the best player he’s ever faced was Pierce. In college, Ubiles scored 11.8 ppg as a freshman, 17.0 as a sophomore, 15.0 as a junior and 15.3 as a senior.

Ubiles starred for Puerto Rico at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Puerto Rico captured the gold.

In related news, the NBL’s Link Tochigi Brex defeated the host Hannaryz 78-72 on Tuesday in the first preseason game between the teams.

Making an impact: The Ukraine men’s national team is 4-1, tied for first in Group A with France, through Monday and earned a spot in the second round of the EuroBasket tournament for the first time, according to Ukraine assistant coach and former Tokyo Apache sideline supervisor Bob Hill.

Hill is assisting Ukraine bench boss Mike Fratello, who also had a long career as an NBA coach. They patrolled the sidelines for a combined 1,818 NBA regular-season games as bosses of their respective teams

Ukraine fell 77-71 to France on Sunday, a game in which San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker ignited a game-changing, fourth-quarter spurt. The Frenchman had nine straight points during a 14-0 run and 15 total points in the final stanza.

“Tony turned it on in the fourth quarter,” Hill told The Japan Times. “We couldn’t do anything with him.

“We went 4-1 and have moved on to the second round for the first time in Ukrainian history. Good stuff…”

Ukraine is currently ranked No. 50 by FIBA, basketball’s world governing body.

Fratello’s squad returns to action in the second round against Latvia on Tuesday.