Struggling Chiba signs center Mour


Staff Report

The Chiba Jets, playing their first season in the National Basketball League (NBL) after defecting from the rival bj-league, have signed Senegalese center Faye Pape Mour, the team announced on Friday.

The chiseled 25-year-old Mour played the past two seasons for the Yokohama B-Corsairs, helping then-coach Reggie Geary’s club win a bj-league title in May. Geary, a former University of Arizona and NBA guard, now coaches the Jets, who are 4-8 with eight straight losses.

To make room for the 200-cm Mour on the Jets roster, they parted ways with well-traveled forward Reggie Okosa, who suited up for the bj-league’s Iwate Big Bulls last season.

“We are very happy with the addition of Faye Pape Mour to our roster,” Geary told The Japan Times. “My having worked with Pape over the last two seasons, which resulted in a bj-league Final Four and championship, made me very comfortable in offering him this great opportunity to play in the NBL and for the Chiba Jets.

“Fortunately for us, Pape was available on short notice, in shape, and close by after Reggie Okosa abruptly quit on the team between games this past weekend. Pape’s energy, personality and all-around professionalism have already enhanced the work atmosphere of our group and has made us a more competitive team.”

In 56 games, including the playoffs, for the B-Corsairs last season, Mour averaged 9.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 0.8 blocks. He had an 11-point performance in the championship game against the Rizing Fukuoka at Ariake Colosseum. He expanded his low-post game, adding an improved hook shot and more polished moves last season.

Before joining the bj-league squad, Mour worked at Yokohama Country & Athletic Club as a basketball coach and intern during the summer of 2011. He has lived in Japan for several years, attending Nobeoka Gakuen High School in Miyazaki Prefecture and Kanto Gakuin University in Kanagawa Prefecture before turning pro.

The Jets play host to former Phoenix Suns point guard Yuta Tabuse and the Link Tochigi Brex (6-6) on Saturday (5 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture.