Basketball / BJ-League

Geoffrey Katsuhisa set to take reins in Iwate

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Geoffrey Katsuhisa will be named the new head coach of the Iwate Big Bulls, The Japan Times has learned.

An announcement is imminent, basketball sources said on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old Katsuhisa has served as an assistant coach for the Chiba Jets since their inception in 2011 as a bj-league franchise, working under a trio of head coaches: Eric Gardow, Shinji Tomiyama and Reggie Geary. The Jets, who defected to the NBL in 2013, have hired Zeljko Pavlicevic as their new bench boss.

Katsuhisa will replace Dai Oketani, who coached the Big Bulls for the past three seasons, including the Tohoku-based club’s 41-11 campaign in 2014-15 that ended with its first-ever trip to the Final Four in May. Oketani is the new Osaka Evessa mentor.

Before joining the Jets, Katsuhisa, a native of Tokyo, worked as longtime NBA coach Bob Hill’s interpreter and team manager during the 2010-11 season for the Tokyo Apache, a bj-league club that folded after that season.

Katsuhisa’s younger brother, Michael, guided the Yokohama B-Corsairs the past two seasons, and was recently named the Shimane Susanoo Magic’s new sideline supervisor.