The Japan Basketball Association revealed the provisional squads for the men’s and women’s national teams and also the male and female 3×3 squads.
Head coach Julio Lamas on Friday selected 23 players for the men’s team, including Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura, the Memphis Grizzlies’ Yuta Watanabe, who is on a two-way contract with the NBA team, and newly introduced Melbourne United guard Yudai Baba.
B.League stars such as Yuki Togashi of Chiba Jets Funabashi, Daiki Tanaka of Alvark Tokyo and Makoto Hiejima of the Utsunomiya Brex were also named to the Akatsuki Five’s provisional roster. Naturalized players Ryan Rossiter of the Brex and Gavin Edwards of the Jets were put on the list as well. Big man Nick Fazekas, another naturalized player, was not chosen. He tested positive for COVID-19 in early July.
Lamas also announced a 22-man “B squad” to develop future prospects, such as Ranger College shooting guard Keisei Tominaga, Tokai University point guard Yuki Kawamura and guard Chikara Tanaka of IMG Academy, with the 2023 FIBA World Cup in sight.
A total of 21 players were called up for the women’s team, which has set the lofty goal of winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics next summer. The Tom Hovasse-led group includes veteran stars like Ramu Tokashiki and Yuki Miyazawa, both of the Eneos Sunflowers, and Maki Takada of the Denso Iris.
For the 3×3 teams, American-Japanese forward Ira Brown and veteran Tomoya “Worm” Ochiai headline the 11-strong men’s squad. Tominaga made the team as well.
The women’s 3×3 squad retained most of the players from its previous training camp, with 20-year-old guard Mai Yamamoto and forward Stephanie Mawuli the most notable players on the list.
Although the national governing body for the sport has announced the rosters, it could not say when it would be able to host training camps amid the coronavirus pandemic.