Yuta Tabuse

Infobox NBA Player

name = Yuta Tabuse
league = Japan Basketball League
team = Link Tochigi Brex
height_ft = 5 | height_in = 9 | weight_lb = 165
position = Point guard
birth_date = birth date and age|1980|10|5
career_start = 2002

Nihongo|Yuta Tabuse|田臥 勇太|Tabuse Yūta|extra=born October 5, 1980 in Yokohama is a Japanese professional basketball player. A point guard, Tabuse is 1.75 m (5'9") and 75 kg (165 pounds). Tabuse is the first Japanese-born basketball player to play in the National Basketball Association, appearing in four games with the Phoenix Suns during the 2004-05 NBA season before he was waived. He is currently with Link Tochigi Brex of the Japan Basketball League. [http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/sports/20080903TDY22311.htm Tabuse still has eyes on NBA return] ]

Tabuse has enjoyed popularity in Japan since his high school playing days, when he led his school to three straight national championships, and has been referred to as "the Michael Jordan of Japan" for his celebrity status.cite news|url=http://www.cgj.org/en/c/vol_12-4/title_04.html|title=Hoop Dreams - Yuta Tabuse, 'The Jordan of Japan'|publisher=Consulate General of Japan in New York|date=December 2004/January 2005|accessdate=2006-07-14] cite news|url=http://starbulletin.com/2001/12/14/sports/story4.html|title='Jordan of Japan' living up to nickname|first=Jaymes|last=Song|publisher=Honolulu Star Bulletin|date=December 14, 2001|accessdate=2006-07-14]

Michael Cooper, former NBA player and Tabuse's coach with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, said of him, "He automatically changes the game because of his quickness and distributing the ball. He's the best fundamental player I've been around in a long time," and Suns assistant coach Marc Iavaroni said, "I liked his energy, I liked his courage."citenews|url=http://www.abqtrib.com/albq/sp_thunderbirds/article/0,2668,ALBQ_24837_4335036,00.html|title=Japan's Yuta Tabuse is a whirlwind of speed and excitement on the court for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds|first=Jeremy|last=Fowler|publisher=The Albuquerque Tribune|date=December 22, 2005|accessdate=2006-07-14] cite news
url=http://www.nba.com/suns/news/tabuse_international_040907.html|title=Tabuse Signing Expands Suns' International Flavor|first=Josh|last=Green|publisher=Suns.com|date=September 7, 2004|accessdate=2006-07-14


Early years

Tabuse, who grew up in what he calls "a sports family", began playing basketball at nine years old, because he was not good at baseball and not interested in soccer.cite news|title=BYUH's Japanese point guard learning about celebrity|url=http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2001/Dec/20/sp/sp03a.html|first= Catherine E.|last=Toth|publisher=The Honolulu Advertiser|date=2001-12-20|accessdate=2006-07-15] He attended Nihongo|Noshiro Technical High School|能代工業高校|Noshiro Kōgyō Kōkō in Akita Prefecture, where he led his team to national championships all three years he was there and did not lose a single game.

After graduation from high school in March of 1999, Tabuse chose to enroll at Brigham Young University Hawaii for its English as an International Language program. He sat out his first two seasons at BYUH because of eligibility rules and played one season before turning pro. He averaged 7.6 points and led the Pacific West Conference with 6.6 assists.

He returned to join the Toyota Alvark, with whom he won the Japan Basketball League Rookie of the Year award for the 2002-03 season.


After leaving the Toyota Alvark in 2003, Tabuse became the first Japanese national to play in the NBA's summer league, playing for the Dallas Mavericks. Tabuse's first attempt at making it to the NBA made the headlines in Japan, and drew large media attention.

That year, Tabuse joined the Denver Nuggets' training camp, but he was waived before the start of the regular season.

He spent the 2003-2004 season with the American Basketball Association champion Long Beach Jam, averaging 5.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, and a team-high 6.3 assists per game in 18 games.

In 2004, Tabuse joined the Phoenix Suns' training camp and made the opening night roster. He scored seven points in his first NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks on November 3, 2004. However, he was waived by the Suns on December 16, 2004. [cite news|url=http://www.nba.com/suns/news/tabuse_041218.html|title=Suns Waive Guard Yuta Tabuse|publisher=NBA.com|date=2004-12-18|accessdate=2006-07-20] He rejoined the Jams for the remainder of the season.

In 2005, he signed with the Los Angeles Clippers but was waived before the start of the regular season.cite news
url=http://www.nba.com/clippers/news/opening_night_roster_051031.html|title=Clippers Set Opening Night Roster|publisher=NBA.com|date=2005-10-31|accessdate=2006-07-15
] That fall, Tabuse appeared on a limited edition cover of "NBA Live" video game in Japan, even though he did not play a single NBA regular season game.cite news|url=http://www.kotaku.com/gaming/ea-sports/ea-sport-promotes-bench-warmer-129134.php|title=EA Sport Promotes Bench Warmer|publisher=Kotaku|date=2005-10-05|accessdate=2006-07-15]

That year, he was drafted by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA Development League and averaged 6.5 points and 4.0 assists in 34 games before he was waived in March.

In the summer of 2006, Tabuse played with the Dallas Mavericks' summer league team. In November 2006, Tabuse was drafted into the D-League by the Bakersfield Jam. [cite news|url=http://www.draftexpress.com/viewarticle.php?a=1409|title=2006 Summer Pro League - Day Five|first=Richard|last=Walker|publisher=DraftExpress|date=2006-07-13|accessdate=2006-07-20] In November 2007, Tabuse was cut by the Bakersfield Jam before the 2007-08 season began. [cite news|url=http://www.bakersfield.com/136/story/288397.html|title=Jam cuts ties with fan favorite Tabuse|publisher=The Bakersfield Californian|date=2007-11-17|accessdate=2007-11-25]

On December 8 2007, Anaheim Arsenal of the D-League signed Tabuse, and he made his debut on December 9 against the Bakersfield Jam. For the 2007-08 season, Tabuse averaged 4.5 points and 2.0 assists in 39 games. [ [http://www.nba.com/dleague/anaheim/tabuse_071207.html The Official Site Of The Nba Development League: Anaheim Arsenal ] ]

In July 2008, Tabuse joined the New Jersey Nets' squad in the Orlando Pro Summer League. [cite news|url=http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3677078|title=Arsenal players make summer league rosters|publisher=The Bakersfield Californian|date=2008-07-08|accessdate=2008-07-10]


External links

* [http://www.tabuseyuta.com/ Official site]
* [http://www.nba.com/dleague/playerfile/yuta_tabuse/ NBDL profile]
* [http://www.nba.com/playerfile/yuta_tabuse/ NBA.com player profile]

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