In a major move that could shake up the balance of power in the B. League’s Central Division, the SeaHorses Mikawa announced the acquisition of star center Davante Gardner on Thursday.
Gardner spent the past three seasons with the Niigata Albirex BB, helping the club capture the 2018-19 Central Division title with a 45-15 record.
Mikawa is coming off a 31-29 record, missing out on the playoffs.
The 203-cm, 132-kg Gardner has led the B. League in scoring in each of the past two seasons. He averaged 27.6 points and 11.0 rebounds (third-best average) this past season while handing out 3.8 assists per game. He also got to the free-throw line with regularity, averaging 7.6 foul shots.
In the 2017-18 season, he posted averages of 28.7 points and 10.0 rebounds (No. 4 in the circuit). He was second in the B. League in scoring in 2016-17, averaging 21.9 points along with 8.8 rebounds.
“SeaHorses Mikawa is well-known for amazing fan support. I am honored to be a part of it for the 2019-20 season,” said Gardner, a Marquette University product.
He added: “This will be a great year for Seahorses Mikawa and I am looking forward to joining the team.”
Edwards stays put
Chiba Jets Funabashi power forward Gavin Edwards played a pivotal role during the past two seasons with the East Division powerhouse.
The Jets advanced to the B. League Final twice, falling both times to the Alvark Tokyo.
Embracing continuity, Chiba management decided to bring Edwards back for a third season, it was announced on Monday.
“I am so happy to be able to continue with the Chiba Jets and achieve our ultimate goal together,” said Edwards, a University of Connecticut alum.
The All-Star appeared in 59 games this past season, averaging 13.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists. He shot 56.4 percent from the field.