Yuki Togashi Takes NBA Summer League By Storm

Posted: Jul 22 2014, 2:13am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 22 2014, 2:18am CDT , in Latest Sports News


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Yuki Togashi Takes NBA Summer League By Storm
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Diminutive 5'7" guard Yuki Togashi made a big splash in the 2014 NBA Summer League.

Diminutive 5'7" guard Yuki Togashi took the 2014 NBA Summer League by storm.

Bleacher Report's Dan Carson wrote about Togashi in his July 17 article:

"Comically short NBA players are a dying breed.

"While never a prolific cross section of the league, it always seemed like each generation of the last 30 years had its marquee Mighty Mouse. Spud Webb owned the late '80s/early '90s, Muggsy Bogues had the mid-'90s and Earl Boykins claimed the 2000s.

"The closest thing NBA fans have to a pocket-sized dynamo now is 5'9" Nate Robinson, who is currently sidelined with an ACL injury. There is a vacuum in the NBA market for fun-sized guards, and Japanese baller Yuki Togashi may be the one to fill it.

"A 5'7" point guard out of Japan's BJ League, Togashi was invited by the Dallas Mavericks to play NBA Summer League ball in Las Vegas. The sharpshooting guard has since become a fan favorite, dropping triples and winning over the crowd with his slick floaters.

"'I know I look like I'm 15 years old,' Togashi told reporters. 'Maybe that's why the fans love me...Sometimes it's kinda too much, but I gotta get used to it.'

"Get used to it, Togashi. You are a star.

"Jake O'Donnell of SportsGrid.com reports that the 20-year-old scored 12 points in 11 minutes on the floor against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday. Even better, his performance sparked a number of Animal House puns from the game's commentators, who said the crowd as chanting 'Toga! Toga! Toga!' by the end of the game.

"Imagine this at a packed NBA stadium.

"If he were to make an NBA roster, Togashi would become the second Japanese player in the history of the league (Yuta Tabuse made the cut for the Phoenix Suns in 2004)."

NESN (via Fox Sports) reveals Togashi studied in the same Maryland high school as the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant:

"Togashi played high school ball at Montrose Christian High School in Rockville, Md., the same school as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

"After he didnt' receive any Division I scholarship offers, Togashi headed home to play in the Basketball Japan League. Last season, he averaged 15.6 points and 7.9 assists per game and has made the BJ League's top-five players list in each of the past two seasons.

"The tiny point guard turns 21 years old on July 30, leaving him plenty of time to make a name for himself in the NBA should he make the Mavericks roster."

Finally, ESPN Dallas' Bryan Gutierrez assessed Togashi's Summer League performance with the Mavericks:

"The 5-foot-8 Japanese guard is a perfect fit for the Texas Legends, Dallas' NBA Development League affiliate. The diminutive prospect certainly has game, but is clearly limited due to his small frame.

"He will have to fight an uphill battle, much like former Dallas point guard J.J. Barea did, if he wants any shot at making an NBA roster. Togashi made it clear after the Vegas finale that he will not play in Japan and hopes to be selected in the D-League draft.

"Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson is a co-owner of the Legends, so it's a relatively safe bet to assume that Togashi lands in Frisco, Texas."

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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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