Basketball: Japan’s World Cup success result of hard-won reforms


In winning three games at the recent Basketball World Cup and qualifying for the Olympics as a non-host for the first time since the 1976 Montreal Games, the Japanese men’s national team overcame a history of underachievement tied to the sport’s mismanagement in the country.

Asian basketball, let alone the rest of the world, had been too high a hurdle for Japan’s men, who finished a record-low 10th at the 2009 continental championships, before sweeping reforms to the sport led to the establishment of the B-League in 2016.

Governing body FIBA had banned Japan from men’s and women’s internationa...

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