Yuta Watanabe made a heroic return to his home country during a recent trip by the George Washington University basketball team.

During their stay in Japan, the Colonials played three exhibitions against a downgraded Japanese national team and one against the Ryukyu Golden Kings of the professional B. League, and the NCAA team won all four games.

"We got to play in such a great arena like this in front of a great audience against a great opponent," Watanabe said after a 77-71 win in the second game at sumo capital Ryogoku Kokugikan on Aug. 16. "I'm thankful for the people who made it happen, including our university officials."