After playing with the Detroit Pistons at the NBA’s Orlando Summer League at the beginning of July, former Rutgers basketball star Kadeem Jack has signed a deal to play with the Hitachi SunRockers in the first division of the B.League in Japan.
Former Rutgers F Kadeem Jack has agreed to terms & will play for Hitachi Club in Japan, per his Agent @bjbass2 of RBA Sports— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) July 28, 2016
The SunRockers are based in Tokyo and the B.League is the top professional basketball league in Japan. The season consists of a 60 game schedule, starting in September and running through May. It is the inaugural season for this league, after a merger between the National Basketball League operated by FIBA, and the independent bj league.
Jack played in three of the Pistons five contests during the NBA’s Orlando Summer league, averaging 1 point and 1 rebound in 7 minutes of action per game. The Pistons had a 4-1 record, losing in the championship game to the hometown Magic. Before the summer league began, I asked Jack about his expectations for himself and he had this to say:
My expectations for Orlando is just to play hard and enjoy myself. I feel like if I do that, it will be a positive experience.
While it’s likely Jack would have hoped to have played more in Orlando, his effort and potential led to him landing a pro deal in Asia.
Jack had a solid rookie campaign last season, playing in the NBA's Developmental League with affiliates for both the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings. He was signed by the Pacers and was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants after attempting to make their squad in training camp. Jack played in 15 games for the Pacers D-League team, averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in almost 13 minutes per game. He then transitioned to the Reno Bighorns, the Kings D-League affiliate. Jack's performance improved, as he averaged 10.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in almost 15 minutes of action per game. He stepped up his game even more in the D-League playoffs, averaging 13 points and 7.3 rebounds in 28 minutes per game.
After spending his first professional season playing for three different organizations between the NBA and it’s Developmental League, the move to Japan for next season should provide him more stability.
Another former Rutgers star, Quincy Douby, has had a few great seasons playing professionally overseas, especially in China. Let’s hope Jack follows in Douby’s footsteps and performs well in Japan, creating more opportunities for himself in his professional basketball career. 幸 こう (good luck in Japanese) to Kadeem as he enters his second season of his pro career.