Basketball

Kanazawa to coach NBDL’s Yamagata team

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The well-traveled Atsushi Kanazawa will lead the Passlab Yamagata Wyverns in the NBDL, the JBL2’s successor, next season, it was announced on Thursday.

“It is a great honor to be in charge of a new team,” Kanazawa was quoted as saying in published reports.

The NBDL’s TGI D-Rise had previously announced plans to move to Yamagata Prefecture for the 2014-15 season. The franchise’s new name reflects that change.

For the 2013-14 season, Kanazawa coached the D-Rise to a 17-15 regular-season record (a fourth-place finish in the nine-team circuit) and guided the team to a playoff appearance.

Kanazawa, 36, led the Rizing Fukuoka to a championship runnerup finish in the 2012-13 bj-league season, his first full campaign in charge of the Kyushu-based club.

He was the Takamatsu Five Arrows bench boss for the 2010-11 season, when they went 10-38.

Kanazawa also served as John Neumann’s Rizing assistant in the team’s first two seasons in the bj-league, 2007-09, then followed Neumann to Takamatsu for his one season in charge there, immediately preceding his one season at the helm.

Then, before taking over as Fukuoka coach and replacing Tadaharu Ogawa in February 2012, Kanazawa was the then-JBL2 Daytrick Ibaraki general manager.