December 8, 2007 - NBA Development League (D-League) - Anaheim Arsenal
Anaheim, Calif., December 8, 2007 - The Anaheim Arsenal announced today the acquisition of guard Yuta Tabuse and guard Will Blalock from the available player pool. Tabuse is expected to be available for today\'s away game versus the Bakersfield Jam. Blalock is expected to be available when the Arsenal return from Bakersfield and play the Jam on Sunday December 9 at 3:00PM. A press conference will be held at the Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center before the game on Sunday December 9 at 12:30PM.
Yuta Tabuse spent the 2006-2007 season with the Bakersfield Jam, averaging 6.1 points, 1.43 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Tabuse ranked sixth in the D-League last season for 3-pointers made for 48 minutes of play. He participated in NBA training camp with the Los Angeles Clippers in the fall of 2005 and eventually moved on to play with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds in the NBA Development League during their 2005-2006 championship season, averaging 6.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 34 games.
Tabuse, 27, made history during the 2004-05 season by becoming the first Japanese-born player in NBA history. That season he appeared in four games for the Phoenix Suns averaging 1.8 points and one rebound in 4.3 minutes of action per game.
Tabuse joins an Arsenal team currently in fourth place in the West Division with a 2-5 record. Anaheim is led by guard Guillermo Diaz, who is averaging 20.4 points, 3 assists, 4.3 rebounds per game and Kedrick Brown, the 11th pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. Brown is averaging 14.9 points, 6 rebounds and 1.86 steals per game this season for the Arsenal.
Tabuse split the 2004-2005 season in the NBA and ABA. He started the season with the Phoenix Suns in the NBA, appearing in four games and scoring a total of seven points (all in one game vs. the Atlanta Hawks) and dishing out three assists. After being released, he joined the Long Beach Jam in the ABA averaging 8.8 points and 7.1 assists in 14 games. Tabuse helped lead Long Beach to the ABA title. He participated in NBA training camp with the Denver Nuggets in the fall of 2003. Yuta Tabuse played in his native Japan with Toyota Alvark during the 2002-2003 season.
Drafted 60th by the Pistons in the 2006 NBA Draft, guard Will Blalock appeared in 14 games with the Pistons averaging 1.8 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 11.9 minutes per game. The 6\'0" guard Blalock scored a season-high five points in 18 minutes at Philadelphia on January 9, 2007 (1/9). Blalock made two NBA Development League assignments during the 2006-2007 season and averaged 8.9 points and 6.3 assists in 12 games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. In 2005-2006 Blalock played for the Iowa State Cyclones and averaged 15.4 points, 6.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 35.7 minutes per game.
As the single source for in-season player "call-ups" to the NBA, fans of the D-League enjoy the highest caliber of basketball played outside the NBA. In fact, former D-League players represented 10 percent of NBA players on 2007-08 opening day rosters, numbering 44 in total. In addition, the D-League has produced 25 percent of current NBA referees and 16 current NBA coaches, including head coach Sam Vincent with the Charlotte Bobcats.
The D-League is an innovative and rapidly growing sports property that also serves as an experimental testing ground for new initiatives of the NBA and its teams, provides continuing education and professional development resources for its players, and is committed to serving its local communities through D-LEAGUE CARES and grassroots efforts.