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10 Yuki Kawamura (JPN)
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Pro-bound Yuki Kawamura has a lofty goal on his mind with Akatsuki Five

YOKOHAMA (Japan) - For the past few years, Yuki Kawamura has always been known as one of Japan basketball’s rising stars. Whether it’s playing for Tokhai University or as a "Special Designated Player" in the B.League, Kawamura has always been pegged as one of the players to watch in the future.

"My goal is to become a point guard representing Japan and to participate in the Paris Olympics."


Now, with only a few months away from his 21st birthday, Kawamura is focused on accelerating his path towards stardom with the senior national team. The 1.69 (5'7") point guard announced early in March that he will be dropping out of Tokhai University in order to pursue a professional basketball career.

Of course, his eyes are on a grander prize than just speeding up his status as a professional.

"My goal is to become a point guard representing Japan and to participate in the Paris Olympics. The result of thinking about how to get closer to achieving that goal led to this decision. I grew up to be a basketball player representing Japan, I want to go," Kawamura said enthusiastically regarding his announcement.

Playing for the senior national team was always a part of the plan. Even though he’s not a big-time scorer, Kawamura’s presence as a star leader and floor general has been evident at the youth level. Whether it was at the U16 Asian Championship 2018 or the U18 Asian Championship 2018. Kawamura rallies his team to play with a high level of intensity from start to finish.

That’s why it was not surprising when he became the youngest player ever to play and score in a B.League game at the time back in early 2020. Kawamura signed on as a "Special Designated Player" with San-En Neo Phoenix at the time as a high school star and proceeded to impress while going up against some of the best in Japan.

In his first season, Kawamura averaged 12.6 points and 3.1 assists in 11 games.

In his second season after signing with Yokohama B-Corsairs, he averaged 6.0 points and 3.4 assists in 16 games. He ran through some obstacles with teams now more prepared to play against him, but it only pushed him to become better.

"I’ve said that I want to be a Japan national team point guard in the future," said Kawamura, as per Japan Times during his second season. "But I’ve felt through this year that players like (Yuki) Togashi and (Ryusei) Shinoyama consistently came up with results even though their opponents scouted them. I don’t think I can be a point guard for the national team if I can’t do that."

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In the current 2021-22 season, Kawamumra is having his best year yet with averages of 10.3 points and 6.5 assists in 20 games.

Kawamura has now played in nearly 50 games at the professional level against the likes of Togashi, Shinoyama, and the other B.League stars on a regular basis. It’s not surprising that Kawamura would feel that this is the best way to go in order to achieve his goal of being a member of the Akatsuki Five in Paris 2024.

Japan basketball fans have seen what he’s been capable of at the youth level for the Akatsuki Five. Now they’ll be anticipating to see how he will perform when it comes time to suit up for the senior national team.

Kawamura has been a fan favorite for his fighting spirit coupled with his relatively small size as a basketball player. His push to being recognized as one of the best players in Japan and representing the country in the Olympics will certainly be an inspiring story.

"I want to do what only a small player can do, aiming for aggressive and speedy play…" Kawamura said as per Basket Count. "Hopes and dreams not only for small children and basketball fans, but also for many people. I hope I can reach my goals."