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When the bj-league tipped off in the fall of 2005, Dai Oketani was working as an assistant under Oita HeatDevils head coach Jawann Oldham, a former NBA big man.

Oldham’s tenure in the bj-league lasted just 16 games, and Oita was 4-12 when he was fired. Oketani was promoted to bench boss in January 2006, and he’s become one of the upstart circuit’s biggest success stories.

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