Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the team signed rookie forward Yuta Watanabe (YOU-tuh wah-tuh-NAH-bay) to a two-way contract.
Watanabe (6-9, 205) joined the Brooklyn Nets’ summer league team after going unselected in the 2018 NBA Draft and averaged 9.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.60 blocks in 24.0 minutes in five games (two starts) during the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2018 in Las Vegas.
A native of Kagawa, Japan, the 23-year-old came to the United States in 2013 and played four years collegiately (2014-18) at George Washington University, where he became the first Japanese-born student-athlete to earn an NCAA Division I men’s basketball scholarship. Watanabe was named the 2017-18 Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior after starting all 33 games and averaging 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.64 blocks in 36.6 minutes.
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