MVP Washington returns to Evessa

Power forward Lynn Washington, a mainstay on the Osaka Evessa’s three bj-league championship teams, will remain with the Kansai club for the the 2008-09 season, the team announced Friday.

Like the other players in the league, Washington will receive a new one-year contract.

Washington, a former Indiana University player, was named the bj-league’s MVP on May 4 after the bj-league championship game at Ariake Colosseum. He averaged 21.7 points per game during the regular season despite missing 30 games due to a knee injury. He returned to action for the season’s final stretch of games and had a steadying influence on the team during the playoffs. He also won the MVP in the league’s first season, 2005-06.

The Evessa are expected to re-sign center Jeff Newton and point guard Matt Lottich, key players during the three-peat, in the offseason as well. Earlier this summer, Osaka acquired point guard Takanori Goya, the No. 1 pick in the 2006 bj-league draft, from the Toyama Grouses.