June 22, 2017
Ban earns Seattle Pro-Am invitation with Bellingham Slam
Japanese point guard Kosei Ban will be returning to the United States to play basketball this summer after earning an invitation to compete in the 2017 Seattle Pro-Am league.
Ban will join the Pro-Am as a member of the Bellingham Slam, the team he suited up for in 2014 as part of the International Basketball League. He was a member of the Slam when it won its third straight IBL championship in 2014, and scored the final five points for Bellingham in their 143-126 title game win over the Vancouver Volcanoes.
The Slam has been competing in the Seattle Pro-Am since 2016 after the IBL ceased operations following the 2014 season, leaving the team without a league membership.
After playing one season for the Slam, Ban returned to Japan and spent the 2015-16 season with the BJ League's Oita Heat Devils, staying on with the organization when it moved to Ban's hometown of Matsuyama and became the Ehime Orange Vikings for the B. League's inaugural 2016-17 season.
Ban appeared in 38 games for the Orange Vikings last season, scoring a total of 80 points. He saw his workload increase dramatically towards the end of the season and was a starter in five of the team's final eight games.
Ban is no stranger to playing basketball in Seattle, as he was a member of the Nippon Tornadoes team, which competed as a member of the IBL in 2012 and 2013.
Ban will be benefit from a certain level of roster familiarity this summer with the Slam, as five other players on this year's team also competed alongside Ban in 2014.
The Seattle Pro-Am is currently in its 22nd season and is organized by Los Angeles Clippers guard and Seattle native Jamal Crawford. It features top-flight basketball talent from around the Pacific Northwest and attracts a number of NBA players each summer.