The MoU will also aid in the growth of coaches and referees from Australia and Japan while providing more international opportunities for the nation’s youth teams.
“This is an exciting development for both Australian and Japan basketball and will continue our great relationship which has grown exponentially over the past few years,” said Ned Coten, Chairman of Basketball Australia.
“It is our great pleasure to sign the MoU with Basketball Australia and we would like to thank Mr. Ned Coten, and everyone involved,” said Ms. Yuko Mitsuya, JBA President.
“Needless to say, Australia is one of the best basketball countries and we would like to learn from them and improve ourselves step by step.
“We hope this partnership will provide something good for basketball in Australia too.
“With this MoU, we truly hope basketball in both countries will develop more and more from now on.”
As Australia now qualify through the Asian region for FIBA events, the Boomers, Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals and Japanese national teams are expected to meet more consistently in the future.
Australia and Japan already have a history of highly entertaining battles in the past and the relationship has gone from strength to strength since the Japanese women’s team toured Australia in 2015 for a three-game series in Dandenong, Frankston and Ballarat.
Japan then took on the Chemist Warehouse Opals twice at last year’s FIBA Asia Cup with the Opals winning their group stage meeting before Japan got the better of Australia in the gold medal playoff.
Kelsey Griffin burst on to the scene in her first tournament as an Opal, recording 30 points and 15 rebounds in the final to assure her position as tournament MVP while Saki Mizushima showcased her incredible shooting by hitting 7-9 from the three-point line.
The Boomers enjoyed a clash against Japan in the FIBA Asia Cup last year before hosting and defeating the Akatsuki Five in front of a packed Titanium Security Arena last November during the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
Japan hosted the re-match in June and handed the Boomers their only loss of the first round in a one-point thriller.
“Australia and Japan’s entertaining and high-quality contests over the past few years have included the games between our junior national teams as well,” said Mr. Coten.
“We look forward to extending our partnership with JBA in the coming years and putting on more quality games that will aid in the growth of Australian and Japan basketball.”