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Namizato returns to Ryukyu Golden Kings

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Ryukyu Golden Kings have bolstered their backcourt by signing guard Narito Namizato, it was announced Friday.

Namizato starred for the Western Conference powerhouse squad during the past two seasons, then went to the United States in a failed attempt to land a spot on an NBA Development League team.

Now, he’s returning to the bj-league.

The 24-year-old Okinawan was named to the bj-league’s Best Five Team last season. The 172-cm standout averaged 11.5 points per game and handed out 6.2 assists, good for No. 2 in the league. He had 309 assists and 122 turnovers. In his first season with Ryukyu, Namizato helped lead the team to a bj-league title in the 2011-12 campaign.

The West-leading Golden Kings (27-5 overall, 17-1 at home) play host to the Takamatsu Five Arrows on Saturday and Sunday in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture.

In other personnel moves this week, the Rizing Fukuoka have released forward Michael Dale, who averaged 8.0 points and 6.4 rebounds in 32 games. The Rizing have signed power forward/center David Palmer, a Northern Kentucky product.

He’s the second David Palmer to join a bj-league team. David Palmer of the Kyoto Hannaryz made his bj-league debut in 2005 for the Osaka Evessa.

The Fukuoka newcomer has suited up for pro teams in Vietnam, Poland and the D-League. In the 2011-12 season, the 27-year-old played 43 games (11 starts) in the D-League, splitting time with the Reno Bighorns and Bakersfield Jam while averaging 7.2 points and 5.5 rebounds. He also played a preseason game for Reno on Nov. 14, 2013, but was placed on waivers days later.

His college career included stops at Seton Hall and then Iowa before ending up at Northern Kentucky.

The Tokyo Cinq Reves, meanwhile, acquired forward Remy Boswell, who went to NCAA Division II St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. The 24-year-old Boswell is 203 cm.

In other moves, the Shinshu Brave Warriors parted ways with forward Suleiman Braimoh after four games. He also played 22 games for the Niigata Albirex BB before joining Shinshu. All told, he averaged 7.9 ppg this season.

To fill Braimoh’s roster spot, Shinshu picked up ex-Marquette University post player Dwight Burke. The 27-year-old, 203-cm veteran has played professionally in Uruguay, Lithuania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, France and, his last stop, in Switzerland. He averaged 6.8 points in eight games for the Geneve Lions in October and November.

In a statement posted on eurobasket.com, Burke said, “The fans of (the) Shinshu Brave Warriors can expect me to come out and do my best to improve the team and help win games. I look forward to the rest of the season and the opportunity.”