Possibility of holding an international tournament in Okinawa discussed at the East Asia Basketball Executive Meeting

Possibility of holding an international tournament in Okinawa discussed at the East Asia Basketball Executive Meeting

On February 17 at Laguna Garden Hotel in Ginowan, representatives of the various leagues exchanged opinions about holding training camps and an international competition in Okinawa


February 18, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On February 17 at Laguna Garden Hotel in Ginowan, officials of professional basketball leagues from Japan (bj), Korea (KBL) and Taiwan (SBL), were invited to attend the East Asia Basketball Executive Meeting held to discuss international exchange among professional basketball teams.

This is a part of a sports and tourism promotion project run by the prefectural government. Professional basketball affiliates from each country exchanged information and opinions about their leagues and discussed the possibility of holding an international tournament and training camps in Okinawa.

Lee Sang Kook from KBL Pusan explained that about five teams currently hold training camps in Tokyo or Osaka, usually in August and September. He said, “If these teams were to have their camps in Okinawa, it might be possible to hold an international tournament. A good training environment and games with competitive teams would be important criteria for holding such a camp.”

Wang Wei Chang from SBL stated, “When I discussed this idea with people from each team in Taiwan before coming to Okinawa, there was a great deal of positive feedback about having games and a training camp here. I think that many teams would be excited about the prospect of coming to Okinawa.”

Commenting that in the small capacity gymnasiums in Okinawa it would be difficult to hold an international tournament at which 3000 to 4000 spectators would attend, Tatsuro Kimura from the Ryukyu Golden Kings, pointed out the need for better facilities.

Toshimitsu Kawachi, the commissioner of the bj league said, “Each league has its own set of circumstances, but it is important to try to do something. I would like to encourage the SBL and KBL to hold camps and an international tournament in Okinawa.”

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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