Colonials to Play in Annual Kenner League at Georgetown's McDonough Arena
Before coming to the U.S., Watanabe led Jinsei Gakuen High School to second place in the 2010 and 2011 All-Japan Tournaments. He has already competed for the Japanese National Team - as an 18-year-old, he helped Japan to third place at the 2013 East Asian Basketball Association Championship for Men and ninth in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship - and joins Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen as foreign-born Colonials with experience in international competition. Like fellow NLI signee Cimino, Watanabe comes from a basketball family - both of his parents played in Japan's top leagues, his mother, Kumi, also played for the Japanese Women's National Team, and his sister, Yuki, currently plays for Aishin AW of the Women's Japan Basketball League.
"Yuta is a very versatile player who can play several positions," said Coach Lonergan. "He has the ball-handling and shooting abilities of a guard and the athleticism and height of a forward. We expect him to make an immediate impact for us because of his combination of skills."