Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Asian Americans on the rise in college ball

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There are maybe three or four "franchises" in the history of organized Asian American basketball leagues in the USA: (1) the Japanese-centric Nippon Athletic Union of Northern and Southern California, borne out of the Japanese internment camps of World War II, (2) the Chinese National Tournament borne out of the East Coast, (3) the IndoPak tournament circuit, and (4) the East and West Coast Filipino leagues started by immigrants to large metros.

Guess what, perhaps Asian American basketball's greatest player ever has returned home. Rex Walters was named the head coach of USF yesterday (Rex is 50% Japanese, 50% Caucasian).

This is a little eerie because I was gonna post our NYC commish's recent article on some ballers of our Asian league/tourney circuits of today -- from the potential of Xiro Navaulath, to the token-Asian-guy-at-a-world-class-program Matt Lee, and the steady starter of a small D-1 Jeremy Lin, who actually has not appeared in an Asian league/tourney yet (...and props to Ryan Reyes, although we are talking about D-1 here, not pro) -- who have made it to the D-1 level.

And just last week I also recently came close to hiring a new ref in our Bay Area league, Joe Belfry (he called me back too late, but you'll see him soon in stripes on our courts), former teammate of John Tofi. Tofi started at UTEP and is now, according to Belfry, playing professionally in Italy.

Here's the report from NYC... Read the rest of the story




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