|Head coach||Takaki Ishida|
|Championships||NBDL: 3 (2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16)|
B3 League: 1(2018-19)
Yokohama Excellence is a Japanese professional basketball club that will compete in the third division of Japan's B.League. Prior to the B.League's establishment, the club played in the National Basketball Development League, winning the championship in all three years of the league's existence. The team's home arena was the Itabashi Azusawa Gymnasium in Itabashi, Tokyo. The team also played some home matches at the Izumi Citizen's Gymnasium in Tachikawa, Tokyo.
The club's roots lie in an amateur club named Excellence formed by Dr. Shuichi Tsuji in 2002. The team unsuccessfully sought entry into the reformed Japan Basketball League (JBL) in 2007 and thereafter continued to compete at the amateur level. During its ten-year history as an amateur club, the Excellence qualified for the All-Japan Club Basketball Championships on four occasions and finished in third place in 2004 and 2011. The team was coached by American Bob Pierce for four years from 2002 until 2005.
In July 2012 Tsuji announced on his blog that he had successfully gained entry for the club into the National Basketball Development League (NBDL), a new league that was to commence in 2013 as a replacement of the second division of the JBL. In the same announcement Tsuji declared the goal was for the Excellence to be promoted to the first division NBL by 2015, which would make the club the first Tokyo-based fully professional club in the top league run by the Japan Basketball Association. At that time, most teams participating in JBA-sanctioned leagues were corporate teams and most players were employed by the parent corporations rather than paid as professional athletes. Tsuji also said that the amateur Excellence team coached by Tsuji would continue to exist under the umbrella of the professional club, which would be named Tokyo Excellence.
Tokyo Excellence was the only new team to compete in the inaugural season of the NBDL, the other teams in the 10-team league having competed in the JBL2 the previous season. The club was coached by American Michael Olson in their first season and led by two American import players, Joe Wolfinger and Markhuri Sanders-Frison. Excellence had a successful first season, finishing in second place on the standings with a 29–3 win-loss record, with all of their losses coming at the hands of the first-placed Toyota Tsusho Fighting Eagles. The Excellence defeated the Aisin AW Areions in the semi-final and then overcame the Fighting Eagles 93–77 in the final to claim the championship title after trailing 38–32 at half time. Yusuke Karino scored 33 points in the final and won the playoff MVP award. Five Excellence players including Karino and Wolfinger were selected for the Eastern Conference's All-Star team.
Olson moved to the NBL's Hitachi Sunrockers during the 2014 off-season and the Excellence hired Shinya Tagata as his replacement for the 2014–15 season. The Excellence and Fighting Eagles again led the league throughout the season, with both teams securing a playoff berth in early February The Excellence ended the regular season with a 27–5 record, again finishing in second place behind the Fighting Eagles. The Excellence overcame Tokyo rivals Earth Friends Tokyo Z in the semi-final before defeating the Areions in the final, with the Excellence's Sanders named as playoff MVP.
The Excellence signed Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh, both members of India's national basketball team, in August 2015. Amjyot finished the 2015–16 as the league's second-best shot blocker (1.6 blocks per game) and Amritpal finished third in the league in field goal percentage (55.1%). With guard Tatsuya Nishiyama as captain, the Excellence finished in third place with a 25–11 win-loss record. Karino was named to the league's first five and Tagata won the coach of the year award, despite the club announcing nine days before the final that Tagata would not be returning to the club the following year. The club again prevailed in the playoffs, defeating the Fighting Eagles 89–70 in the final to secure a third consecutive championship. Karino led the scoring in the final with 23 points, and Hiroaki Tobita contributed 16 points and 7 rebounds to be named playoff MVP.
In August 2015 it was announced that the Excellence would play in the second division of the B.League, a new three-division league created from the merger of the NBL, NBDL and bj league that is to start competition in September 2016. The 2016 off-season saw major changes in both playing and coaching staff. Masaki Hayamizu, who coached the Tokyo Hachioji Trains the previous season, was hired as the head coach in July. B.League rules limit second division teams to two import players and one naturalized player; the Excellence signed 22-year-old centre and Colorado Mesa University graduate Ryan Stephan and former Renova Kagoshima forward/centre Luke Evans as their imports. The team will commence their first B.League campaign with home games against former NBDL team Earth Friends Tokyo Z on 24 and 25 September 2016.
|Yokohama Excellence roster|
Notable former players
- Samuel Deguara
- Luke Evans (fr)
- Yoshinori Kaneta
- Yusuke Karino
- Markhuri Sanders-Frison
- Amjyot Singh
- Amritpal Singh
- Ryan Stephan [tl]
- Yokohama Budokan
- Itabashi Azusawa Gymnasium
- Arena Tachikawa Tachihi
- Higashimurayama Citizens Sports Center
- Kitamoto City Sports Center
- Kato Factory Arena
- "ホームアリーナ紹介" [Home Arenas] (in Japanese). Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- "過去の戦跡・OB" [Past Results and Members] (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 13 August 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Nagatsuka, Kaz (21 March 2014). "Tokyo Excellence shooting for NBDL championship". Japan Times. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "スポーツは世界を変える！" [Sport changes the world!] (in Japanese). 3 July 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Tokyo Excellence triumph in NBDL championship game". Japan Times. 23 March 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "NBL/NBDLオールスターファン投票最終結果発表" [Results of NBL/NBDL All-Star Fan Voting] (in Japanese). 11 November 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Nagatsuka, Kaz (5 May 2015). "Sunrockers make dramatic turnaround this season, eye NBL title". Japan Times. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "NBDL 2014–2015 PLAYOFFS 豊田通商ファイティングイーグルス名古屋、東京エクセレンス 出場権獲得のお知らせ" [Notification that Toyoda Tsusho Fighting Eagles Nagoya and Tokyo Excellence have secured berth in NBDL 2014–2015 playoffs] (in Japanese). National Basketball Development League of Japan. 9 February 2015. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "NBDL 2014–2015 PLAYOFFS アイシン・エィ・ダブリュ アレイオンズ安城出場権獲得のお知らせ" [Notification that Aisin AW Aerions Anjo has secured berth in NBDL 2014–2015 playoffs] (in Japanese). National Basketball Development League of Japan. 15 March 2015. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "NBDL 2014–2015 PLAYOFFS最終結果・アウォード 表彰受賞者のお知らせ" [Notification of final results of NBDL 2014–2015 playoffs and award recipients] (in Japanese). National Basketball Development League of Japan. 22 March 2015. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "Indian cagers Amjyot, Amritpal to play in Japan". Business Standard. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
- "SEASON LEADERS" (in Japanese). National Basketball Development League of Japan. March 2016. Archived from the original on 6 April 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "東京エクセレンス３連覇目指し決起会 男子バスケ" [Tokyo Excellence kick-off season seeking third straight title: Men's basketball]. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 15 October 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "【NBDL】 東京ＥＸの三連覇で幕を閉じたラストシーズン" [(NBDL) Tokyo Excellence close curtain on final season with three-peat] (in Japanese). 7 April 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "【チーム情報】田方ヘッドコーチ退任のお知らせ" [(Team information) Notice of Head Coach Tagata's resignation] (in Japanese). 18 March 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "東京ＥＸ、３連覇で最後のＮＢＤＬ王者！ＭＶＰに飛田" [Tokyo Excellence three-peat to be final NBDL champions! Tobita MVP]. Hochi Shimbun (in Japanese). 27 March 2016. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- Nagatsuka, Kaz (29 August 2015). "JPBL finalizes division placements for 2016–17". The Japan Times. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "早水将希ヘッドコーチ 契約合意のお知らせ" [Notice of contract agreement with Head Coach Masaki Hayamizu] (in Japanese). 8 July 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Rules". Archived from the original on 29 May 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Arnold, Patti (13 July 2016). "Stephan signs pro deal with Tokyo team". Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "#3ルーク・エヴァンス選手、契約合意のお知らせ" [Notification of contract signed with #3 Luke Evans] (in Japanese). 10 August 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- "9/24（土）、25（日）試合後イベントに東京Z選手も参加！" [Tokyo Z players to participate in post-match events on 24 and 25 September] (in Japanese). 22 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
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