Ex-volleyball Olympian Mitsuya to succeed Kawabuchi as JBA chief: sources

Kyodo, Staff Report

Yuko Mitsuya is set to succeed Saburo Kawabuchi as chairman of the Japan Basketball Association, sources said Friday.

Mitsuya, 57, is currently second-in-command to the 79-year-old Kawabuchi, who hinted last May that he would step down after one year on the job.

Mitsuya won a bronze medal with the Japan women’s volleyball team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. She has previously served as a member of J. League board of directors and also as a trustee member for the Japan Volleyball Association board.

Mitsuya was appointed along with Kawabuchi, the former head of the Japan Football Association, to a task force instigated by FIBA, basketball’s world governing body, which banned Japan from international competition until various reforms were carried out, including a restructuring of men’s domestic basketball.

For years, the bj-league and NBL, the JBL’s successor, were unable to end their impasse despite demands and warnings from top FIBA officials that the JBA needed to have a hierarchical structure in place that brought the independent bj-league, started in 2005, into the fold.

The B. League is scheduled to begin its inaugural season in the fall with 45 teams in a three-division setup. The new league formed with teams from the NBL, NBDL and bj-league.