By Marty Gordon
Radford University has dipped into the international waters to find its latest basketball recruit. Head Coach Darris Nichols has announced the signing of Ibu Yamazaki, a member of the U19 squad at the 2021 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup.
“Ibu is a talented wing shooter that has a ton of FIBA experience,” said Nichols. “He is a winner that comes from the same program that produced Rui Hachimura. We are excited to have him join our program and the Radford University community.”
The 6-7 Yamazaki comes to the New River Valley by way of Matsudo, Chiba, Japan where he attended Meisei High School, the same school that produced Gonzaga standout and current Washington Wizard Rui Hachimura.
A sharpshooter from beyond the arc, Yamazaki represented his home nation in seven games during the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup last summer and averaged 14.6 points, four rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. He dropped 32 points on South Korea, scored 23 points versus Serbia, and went for double-digits against Canada and Senegal as well.
SB Nation noted Yamazaki as a standout in the tournament, mentioning him in the same breath as top NBA draft prospects Jaden Ivey (Purdue/USA), Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite/Australia), and Nikola Jovic (Mega Mozzart/Serbia). The article said of Yamazaki, “No matter the venue or location, his jumper is silky smooth as it’s clear that time has been put in towards every step of the process.”