Former Jayhawk Landen Lucas is One Step Closer to Akatsuki Five Dream
After a productive NBA Summer League stint with the Boston Celtics, Landen Lucas is flying to Japan as the former Kansas Jayhawk big man is expected to sign a contract with Toyota Alvark, a powerhouse team in the B-League, Japan’s premier basketball league.
— Landen A. Lucas (@LandenLucas33) July 24, 2017
The 208cm athletic center is not only looking to begin his professional career in Japan, but also don the colors of Japan’s national basketball team, the Akatsuki Five in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Lucas Jr.’s mom broke the news on her website.
— Shelley Lucas (@shelley_lucas) July 25, 2017
“Tonight, Landen is on a first class flight to Tokyo, Japan!
After a good NBA summer league experience with the Boston Celtics, and some NBA and overseas offers to consider, Landen has decided that currently, the best opportunity for him is in Japan. Therefore, he accepted the guaranteed offer from a team in Japan,” Shelley Lucas said.
In playing for Toyota Alvark, Landen Lucas Jr. will be one step closer in representing Japan in the future as he, his family and the Japanese federation share a mutual interest.
“Signing this guaranteed contract with the JBL gives Landen an opportunity to continue pursuing a career in the NBA, while playing in Japan, applying for his Japanese passport, and potentially playing on the national team in the 2020 Olympics!”
Landen Lucas Jr. spent his early years in Japan, where he received his basic education as he immersed himself in Japanese culture. His father, Richard Lucas played in the old corporate JBL. Many would be surprised by the fact that Lucas speaks Nihongo fluently.
For the upcoming 2018-2019 B-League season, Lucas will join an Alvark team that features a number of active players for the national team: Daiki Tanaka, Joji Takeuchi, and Keijuro Matsui to name a few.
With the imminent addition of Lucas to the Akatsuki Five men’s team, the future boasts of an athletic team that is unprecedented. It starts with the future core of George Washington’s Yuta Watanabe, Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura alongside NBL stars Makoto Hiejima, Yuki Togashi and Tenketsu Harimoto.
Currently, the Japanese national team is training for the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup that will be played in Lebanon next month. Argentine head coach Julio Lamas has taken over team practice and is incorporating a fastbreak oriented game plan as one of the team’s main weapons.
Landen Lucas is expected to bring athleticism and hustle for the Alvark team as they are targeting a championship for the upcoming season after last season’s semis elimination.
Landen Lucas 💪💪 pic.twitter.com/ikimtkRSpP
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 13, 2017
image courtesy of Rantsports