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Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011

'Helicopter' Humphrey joins Broncos


The Saitama Broncos announced the signing of high-scoring swingman John "Helicopter" Humphrey and veteran center Gabriel Hughes on Tuesday.

Humphrey, who turns 31 on Sept. 8, spent four seasons with the Tokyo Apache (2005-09) and won a pair of bj-league scoring titles, averaging 23.1 points in the league's inaugural season and 25.9 points the next season. Humphrey, a Middle Tennessee State product, played for the ABA's St. Louis Pioneers in 2010-11.

A 213-cm California product, Hughes suited up for the Oita HeatDevils in 2005-06 and averaged 15.4 points and 11.5 rebounds. Since then, he's played for teams in the United Arab Emirates, Romania, Estonia and Hungary. From 2008-10, he averaged 8.0 points and 6.6 rebounds in 63 games (30 starts) for the NBA Development League's Los Angeles D-Fenders.

The Broncos, who canceled the remainder of their 2010-11 season after the Great East Japan Earthquake, have never had a winning season in six campaigns in the bj-league. Now new coach Dean Murray will work to build a solid foundation, which includes previously signed guards Kenny Satterfield and Darin Satoshi Maki.

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