Can the speedy, talented, 172-cm guard reach the NBA?
Here's Saitama Broncos coach Natalie Nakase's opinion.
"In regards to Namizato, I believe it will be very difficult for him to make the NBA. He will have many obstacles to overcome with his size and many people who will not agree with his dream. I believe he has to get stronger physically, smarter defensively, and develop a very consistent outside shot, especially the NBA 3-point range. On the other hand, his will to work and win could change all of that.
"I only know Namizato from facing him at the All-Star Game (in Saitama), and I asked him what is his goal for next season. He said the NBA without hesitation. With that said, I support young players who go after there dreams, especially when all odds are against you. If he truly wants the NBA, he will sacrifice everything right now and focus 100 percent on improving his game and performing well at tryouts or camps. Be open to every coach, trainer, and mentor who is willing to help.
"From working with a player like (former Tokyo Apache) Cohey (Aoki) last season, proved to me that size didn't matter. Cohey was incredibly smart and always followed the game plan to a T. With his size, he knew how to disguise it on the defensive end and was always in the right spots. Offensively, Cohey was at most times, our go-to (guy) in close games. So that explains how effective he was for us. Cohey also was the hardest worker on the team, getting there an hour early every practice and staying after to work on his shot or FTs. The reason I mentioned Cohey (167 cm), is because he's proof that size doesn't matter."