Former Georgia Tech guard D’Andre Bell has joined the Chiba Jets for the 2012-13 season, the bj-league team announced on Saturday.
The Los Angeles native played sparingly in the 2011-12 season, according to published reports. He signed with the Quebec Kebs of Canada’s NBL on Nov. 2, 2011 and was released 26 days later. He also had a one-game stint (four total minutes) with the NBA Development League’s Austin Toros.
Bell, a 198-cm, 98-kg performer, played for the D-League’s Bakersfield Jam in 2010-11, appearing in 41 games (13 starts) and averaging 5.2 points. He also played three games for the Miami Heat’s 2010 NBA Summer League squad.
A graduate of Palisades Charter High School, Bell went to the same university as longtime Ryukyu Golden Kings star Anthony McHenry.
Before turning pro, Bell faced a serious health issue — spinal stenosis — that forced him to sit out the 2008-09 college season. He underwent surgery to fix the problem, which compresses the spinal cord.
“It hurts not to be able to play,” Bell said in October 2008, when he was tabbed to be the Georgia Tech captain. “But I know God has a plan for me, and I need to do what is best for my future. My focus now will be on making sure I do what I need to do academically to finish up in the spring. I have to have the surgery whether I want to play again or not, so I probably will do that during winter break.”
Bell returned to close out his college career in 2009 as a co-captain. He started every game and averaged 6.1 points.
Also Saturday, the visiting Kyoto Hannaryz defeated the Shimane Susanoo Magic 79-74 in the first preseason game involving two bj-league teams this season. Elsewhere, KBL squad Wonju Dongu Promy topped the Akita Northern Happinets 74-62. The Toyama Grouses, led by new coach Bob Nash, defeated Taiwanese club Pure-Youth Construction 84-82