Basketball / BJ-League

Aoki named Yokohama B-Corsairs coach

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

After two seasons as a Yokohama B-Corsairs assistant coach, Taketo Aoki has been promoted to bench boss, the bj-league squad announced on Friday.

Aoki, 41, worked under ex-coach Michael Katsuhisa during the past two seasons. A Kanagawa Prefecture native, he retired as a player in 2013 after the B-Corsairs captured the title in their second season.

The B-Corsairs went 18-34 and missed the playoffs during the 2014-15 campaign. Katsuhisa, meanwhile, was named the Shimane Susanoo Magic’s new coach this week.

During a lengthy pro career, which started in 1996 in the JBL, Aoki, a forward, has been a fixture in the bj-league since its inception. He played for the Tokyo Apache (2005-07), Ryukyu Golden Kings (2008-10), Oita HeatDevils (2007-08, 2010-11) and B-Corsairs (2011-13). Aoki won his first bj-league title as a player with Ryukyu in May 2009.

Former NBA guard Reggie Geary was Yokohama’s original coach. He steered the team to back-to-back Final Fours and the aforementioned title. He is the new sideline supervisor for the NBL’s Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins.

Extension for Kawachi: Sendai 89ers coach Shuto Kawachi was given a one-year contract for the 2015-16 season, the Eastern Conference club announced Thursday.

Kawachi, 29, completed his second season at the helm in May, leading the 89ers to a 37-15 regular-season record and third place in the 12-team East. Sendai was bounced from the playoffs in the opening round by the sixth-seeded and visiting Aomori Wat’s.

The 89ers were 24-28 in Kawachi’s first season in charge.