Former Montrose Christian basketball standout Yuki Togashi was a shining star this month in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.
Togashi, who graduated from the Rockville private school in 2012, was a fan favorite for the Dallas Mavericks.
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In his summer league debut with the Mavericks, the 5-foot-7 point guard played six minutes in a loss to the New York Knicks. Despite limited playing time, Togashi still finished with two rebounds and an assist for the Mavericks. He scored 12 points in eleven minutes in a game against the Charlotte Hornets.
“He’s a celebrity in Japan,” said Stu Vetter, who once coached Togashi at Montrose Christian. “He was considered one of the best young players to ever come out of Japan.”
During his three-year stint at Montrose Christian, Togashi played on the Mustangs’ nationally ranked teams including the 2011 squad that captured the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational (NHSI) with a double-overtime victory against Oak Hill Academy.
However, the diminutive point guard was overshadowed by more highly-touted teammates such as Tyrone Johnson, Justin Anderson, Tyler Hubbard and others. He was also overlooked by major college programs and drew little interest from recruiters, said Vetter.
“He had some scholarship offers,” said Vetter, “but they were to some lesser known schools.”
So instead of staying in the United States and playing college basketball, Togashi moved back to Japan to play professional basketball.
“Yuki was considered one of the best young players in Japan and was offered a pro contract out of high school,” explained Vetter.
Togashi was back in the United States this month competing in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League and raising some eyebrows along the way in his attempt to become just the second Japanese player to make an NBA roster.
“I don’t sell Yuki short,” said Vetter, “because he really knows how to play.”