[Yudai Baba]Consecutive league win and MVP decided to challenge abroad!
Aiming to stand on the NBA court, Yudai Baba continues to challenge foreign leagues. The greedy SG, who says, “If I’m going to do it, I want to go all the way to the top,” and with the confidence he gained during the big game at Alvark Tokyo, he began to climb the steep road towards his dream, step by step.
A TURNING POINT
May 11, 2019
VS Chiba Jets
To the next step without worry
It made me feel like moving on!
Yudai Baba has walked the elite course of the Japanese basketball world. He joined Alvark Tokyo as an active college student player and won the rookie award in the first year when he won the league’s first win. He won the MVP championship in the second year as a professional when the team won consecutive victories. Since three years ago, he has been competing in foreign leagues with the goal of becoming an NBA player following Yuta Tabuse, Rui Hachimura, and Yuta Watanabe. This game was a turning point for Baba to move on to the next stage of the NBA. It is said to be against Chiba Jets, which is the final of the 2018-19 season. Tokyo, aiming for the second consecutive league title, and Chiba, aiming for the double crown with the Emperor’s Cup. This game, where the powerhouses clashed with pride, was a heated game befitting a B League championship game.
“This was the last season I played in Japan, but I managed to win the last big game of the season and win the championship, and I managed to win the MVP. It was this game that made me decide to do that, especially because I could prove myself in MVP form. Already, I naturally felt that way.”
In this game, the total rebounds that Alvark Tokyo surpassed Chiba Jets 49-36 is said to be one of the factors that decided the outcome of the game. Baba played the leading role in that aerial battle. In this game, Baba recorded a season-high 12 rebounds, surpassing tall center Alex Kirk’s 9 rebounds. Taking advantage of his characteristic leaping ability and abundant momentum, he stole the ball from the big players and connected with offense. In addition to the offense and defense under the goal, Baba also shows his presence on the offensive side. In the first quarter, he scored a brilliant one-handed dunk from his signature steal, contributing to a 12-6 lead. In addition, in the 4th quarter, where the opponent’s ace, Yuki Togashi, was chased after 3 points were decided, in the final stage when it was closed to 5 points difference of 64-59, there were 2 times left 3 minutes and 2 minutes left, I decided to jump a shot over and stop the chase. Baba, who won the MVP of the championship with 12 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals throughout the game, was a key player in winning the B League for the second time in a row.
“The moment when the championship was decided was exactly the moment I had been waiting for. In fact, ace Daiki Tanaka, who had been injured in the semi-finals of the playoffs that year, came back, but he was still the original. I was not in good shape. That’s why the head coach told me that unless someone stepped up, we wouldn’t be able to win a second championship in a row. In the middle of that, I was put on the court semi-final as a beginner ( initial), something I hadn’t done before. I was able to express the role that should be fulfilled. And I was able to lead the victory as a culmination of continuing to express myself as new throughout the playoffs. I felt a great growth in that.”
The road to the stage, aimed at stepping up, was not smooth, but it seems that the innate greed In the first year of the overseas challenge, he participated in 41 games in the opening with the Texas Legends of the lower league of the NBA. Afterwards, he renewed his contract with Melbourne United in Australia, but due to his own injury, he could not play enough. On the other hand, in the Japanese national team, which became the new system of Tom Horvath HC, he was selected as a member of the Asian regional qualifiers of the World Cup 2023. Attention is focused on how far they can show their experience and their technology, which has been in trouble abroad.
“Horvath’s team clearly says, ‘If you attack 10 times, you want 7 3-pointers and 3 drives.’ In other words, they are required to hit 3-pointers more aggressively. However, I have to change my mindset from the 3-point drive, which has been my weapon until now, to’ the drive has only 3-points. I will build my style that I have been doing for 20 years from the beginning. I don’t know if I can change it anytime soon, but this is what I need do it to advance to the next step. At this height, if 3-pointers are a lower priority than driving, there are some areas where the probability of getting into the NBA is low. sharpening my new weapons and achieve things that no one has ever done before. For that reason, I am facing myself right now while playing.”
Born in Toyama Prefecture in 1995. Joined Alvark Tokyo while attending Tsukuba University. He won Rookie of the Year in the first year, contributed to the league’s second consecutive victory in the second year, and was selected as the championship MVP. In 2019, he moved to the United States with the goal of joining the NBA. As a representative of Japan, he participated in the 2019 World Cup as a main force. Member of the 2023 World Cup Asian regional qualifiers.
TAMURA’S NEW WORK
In the first installment of “Project 22,” 22 artists selected from around the world drew the best club players competing in the UEFA Champions League, making the most of their respective styles. “As a representative of Asia, I would be happy if we could contribute to the project in terms of the number of sales.”
The first step to aim for the world
Ajax striker Anthony (currently a member of Manchester United) is drawn on a trading card kept in a collector’s case with Tamura’s signature dynamic touch. This has just been released as the first Sports Illustrated trading card project by Tops, a global trading card brand.
“I was appointed one of the 22 artists who took part in ‘Project 22’, which was launched to further promote the trading card culture. It’s like a representative.”
It is also an important step towards your dream.
“My dream is to become the best artist in the world. So, I would like to take the opportunity to draw on trading cards that are loved by fans around the world as a step towards that goal. I want to leave an impact.”
<img src="https://media.safarilounge.jp/online/thegear/content/theme/media/%E6%96%B0%E8%A6%8F%E3%83%95%E3%82%A9%E3%83%AB%E3%83%80/8966_4.jpg" alt="an artist
Born in Tokyo in 1983. In 2016, he won the overall championship in the ISCA Caricature World Competition, a caricature world competition held in Arizona. His work depicting athletes has attracted attention on social media, and he currently has over 200,000 followers. NBA players are among them. She has tremendous name recognition abroad. Instagram: @dai.tamura
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Illustrated by Dai Tamura Text by Takumi Endo
photo : Dai Tamura text : Takumi Endo photo by AFLO