Celebrate the A100, the most impactful Asian Pacific Leaders.

Yuta Watanabe

Professional Basketball Player, Brooklyn Nets

Yuta Watanabe is a Japanese professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball in the United States for the George Washington Colonials, becoming the first Japanese-born student athlete to secure an NCAA Division I basketball scholarship. He was named Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. He has also represented the Japan national team, helping them win the bronze medal at the 2013 East Asia Basketball Championship.

Before moving to the collegiate level, Watanabe attended Jinsei Gakuen High School in Zentsūji, Kagawa. He later transferred to St. Thomas More Preparatory School in Oakdale, Connecticut in 2013. Watanabe rose to fame in his high school program, and was one of their most valuable players in the National Prep School Invitational as a senior in 2014. In college, he became the fourth Japanese-born Division I basketball player of all-time.