Former Japan international basketball player Noriko Hamaguchi is set to come out of retirement and restart her career in a domestic league next season, sources close to her said Saturday.
Hamaguchi, who played center, announced her retirement after playing for Japan at the Athens Olympics last summer but had second thoughts and decided to start fresh out of love for the game, they said. Hamaguchi, 31, debuted for the Japanese women’s national team in 1992 as a high school student and twice played in the Olympics — at the 1996 Atlanta Games and in Athens.
She led Japan Energy, currently JOMO, to four straight titles in the Women’s Japan Basketball League (W-League) while keeping her place in the national squad as a key offensive player for much of her career.
Hamaguchi left JOMO at the end of March and has already begun talks with several teams, with Aisin AW of the second-tier W1-League expected to be a strong candidate to acquire her.
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