Two nice articles about Yuta Watanabe: New York Times and his own Player's Tribune

GW alum Yuta Watanabe is getting some good press lately! Watanabe, who signed a standard NBA contract with the Toronto Raptors in April, was perhaps previously best known in NBA circles for getting posterized by Anthony Edwards (not the E.R. actor) in February, but after his viral fame, Yuta has had some nice attention from the press.

On April 30, Watanabe wrote a great article for the Players Tribune, where pro athletes write their own stories. In it, he talks about the famous dunk and about how there is no such things as "garbage time" to him. It's a great post, but here is a highlight
There are only 450 players who have the opportunity to play in the best basketball league in the world. I’ve heard it said that the total number of basketball players in the world is something like 450 million, so it’s quite literally a one-in-a-million chance to play basketball in the NBA. After years of hard work and making countless sacrifices, I finally made it. So as long as I’m on an NBA court, there is no garbage time — it doesn’t matter if it’s a minute or even a second. There is no guarantee that I’ll be able to play in the next game, so every moment is a chance to make my mark. That’s the reason why there is no “garbage time” in my dictionary.
And then a week later, the New York Times wrote about Watanabe, with a similar bent that the famous dunk might have seemed humbling to some, but Yuta and Japanese fans saw it another way.
“In a situation like that, most people avoid it these days for fear of it going viral on the internet,” Watanabe said. “I think, if I do so, I shouldn’t be here anymore and I shouldn’t get any playing time.”

For [Japanese basketball writer Takeshi] Shibata, the play exemplified Watanabe’s work ethic, which has opened the door for a new generation of basketball players in Japan to dream of one day following the same path to the N.B.A.

The NYT profile goes deeper into Yuta's childhood and youth and into Japanese basketball in general, and both articles talk about his time with the Colonials.

Nice to see positive press of one of our great players, and nice to see mentions of GW too. Watanabe is averaging 4.4 points per game on 45% shooting, including a career high of 21 points in a win over the Magic on April 16 -- and plenty of his trademark hustle plays. Watanabe signed with the Raptors after two years with the Memphis Grizzlies.

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