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Thursday, Sep. 1, 2011

Phoenix players finalize contracts


After winning back-to-back bj-league championships, the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix are retooling their roster for the upcoming season. The team announced Tuesday it has resigned sharpshooter Wayne Arnold and reigning regular-season and playoff MVP Jeffrey Parmer.

Two UNLV products have also joined the squad, led by first-year head coach Ryuji Kawai, a longtime assistant under Kazuo Nakamura: forward/center James Peters and forward Odartey Blankson.

The 30-year-old Peters is an NBA Development League veteran who has also spent time in the Korea Basketball League, as well as Australia, Luxembourg and South Korea.

The 29-year-old Blankson, who has played pro ball in Italy, France, South Korea, begin his college career at Marquette University (2001-02) before averaging 17.6 points and 17.5 during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons for UNLV.

In related news, the bench boss Nakamura's new team, the Akita Northern Happinets, have began assembling their roster for their second season.

After signing do-it-all journeyman guard Michael Gardener last week, they added forwards Brandon Wallace, a South Carolina product, and Devin Sweetney, who starred at St. Francis, a Pennsylvania-based Northeast Conference school.

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