Tyler to play pro ball in Japan

Updated: July 29, 2010, 10:28 AM ET
Associated Press

TOKYO -- Former high school star Jeremy Tyler has signed with the Tokyo Apache of Japan's professional basketball league.

[+] EnlargeJeremy Tyler
AP Photo/Tara Todras-WhitehillJeremy Tyler, seen warming up for Maccabi Haifa last season, has signed with a Japanese pro team.

The team announced the signing Thursday on its official website. The 19-year-old Tyler will play for former NBA coach Bob Hill, who was hired by the team last month.

"We are extremely excited for Jeremy to join our team in Tokyo," the team said in a statement. "His athleticism and size will be a major presence in our frontcourt this season."

Tyler, who attended San Diego High School before leaving after his junior year, signed a one-year, $140,000 contract with Israeli team Maccabi Haifa in August 2009.

He was the first American-born player to leave high school early to play professionally overseas.

Some had seen Tyler as a potential No. 1 overall pick when he's eligible for the NBA draft in 2011, but those projections have softened.

He left Haifa two months before the end of the season for personal reasons. In the 10 games Tyler played for Haifa, the 6-foot-11 power forward averaged only 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 7.6 minutes.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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