BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Bellingham Slam will be putting the “international” in International Basketball League this season with the addition of guard Kosei Ban to the team’s roster.
Hailing from Matsuyama, Japan, Ban will be the first Japanese player to suit up for the Slam in the team’s history. But he is no stranger to the IBL, as he competed for the Nippon Tornadoes during the previous two seasons as they participated as a travel team in the IBL.
Known for his quickness and crafty ball-handling skills, Ban averaged 10 points and 4 assists per game for the Tornadoes in 2013. He scored 14 points and picked up 8 rebounds in a game against Bellingham last season.
At just 20 years old, Ban will be the Slam’s youngest player by a wide margin, and will be using his role with the team as a training opportunity to better learn the style of play that is found in basketball played in North America.
Ban’s addition to the Bellingham roster provides further depth at a position that already boasts a number of talented guards, including IBL All-Stars Morris Anderson and Jacob Stevenson, as well as an incoming rookie from Western Washington University, Richard Woodworth.
The Slam open the 2014 IBL season at home this Friday against the Seattle Flight. A 7 p.m. tip-off is scheduled for Whatcom Pavilion.