The bj-league’s inaugural draft in June 2005 featured 26 players, including No. 1 overall pick Jo Kurino by the Oita HeatDevils. There were 102 players who participated in a league-organized tryout two weeks before the draft.
Among the notable league standouts who remain in the fledgling circuit and were a part of that draft: No. 4 pick Kazuya “J.” Hatano (Osaka Evessa pick; played for Shimane Susanoo Magic last season); No. 5 Jun Nakanishi (Tokyo Apache pick; starred for Rizing Fukuoka), No. 9 Taishiro Shimizu (Saitama Broncos selection; suited up for Oita HeatDevils) and No. 16 Kimitake Sato Niigata Albirex BB).