J.R. Sakuragi aka J.R. Henderson

JR Henderson JR SakuragiThanks to my buddy Greg for passing along this great story. It may be touching on my UCLA roots a bit more than normal, but nevertheless, worth your while. Former UCLA basketball player and 1995 national champion J.R. Henderson, is no longer J.R. Henderson. You see, ever since being selected by the Grizzlies in the 2nd round of the 1998 draft, Henderson has moved on. He left to play in Japan for the Aisin Seahorses (great name) in 2001, and has been balling in Japan ever since. J.R.’s been terrorizing the league, throwing in 21 ppg and 11 rpg last year. What’s all the fuss you ask?

J.R. Henderson is now the basketball player formerly known as J.R. Henderson. From now on, we refer to him as J.R. Sakuragi. In fact, he has changed his name and acquired Japanese citizenship in order to participate on the Japan National Team for the FIBA Asia Championships. I’ve heard of people changing their name over marriage, divorce, and religion change, but never citizenship. People were questioning the legitimacy of the citizenship grant, but rest assured, it has been in the works for quite some time (so say several Japanese officials). J.R. Henderson Sakuragi, man, we hardly knew ya bro.

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UCLA Reaches 100 National Titles
Ex-UCLA QB Drew Olson is an NFL Europe Star
All UCLA Stories on LBS

(Photo courtesy Kaz Nagatsuka)

Around The Web

  • SpinMax

    Bison Dele thinks that’s messed up.

  • http://pointguardu.com NICK

    Leave my man Bison Dele out of this Spin!! at least JR is still alive and kicking it…..

  • http://www.larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Sharmon Shaw aka Karim Abdul-Jabbar agrees.

  • http://pointguardu.com nick

    So does Cassius Clay (Ali) agrees.. but leave Dele out as he is dead and i am a huge Arizona Wildcat fan………..

  • Jennifer

    As JR’s wife who probably knows more about this than anyone, I can tell you he worked EXTREMELY hard to acquire this citizenship. How lucky is Japan to have him on their national team. I’m proud of you!!!!

  • Jennifer

    By the way, if you have any questions at all don’t hesitate to post them. I’m here to set the record straight.

  • Young Dame

    Everbody bow down and kiss the 2 rings. Quit hating and jump on the bandwagon cause my man is doing big thangs you heard!!! MIlt, get ready to put another ring on that big hand of yours. We’re all proud of you here in Sin City and don’t worry your nieces and new nephew are holding you down to the fullest. Do ya thing boy!

    Damon, Bonnie, Noo Noo, Poochie, Tulie, Da Rock & Pamma.

  • Jennifer

    I hear you Young Dame. Are we the only ones not hatin on my man?!?! We have to be cause we’re the only ones who know the real deal. Can’t wait to see you brother. Don’t plan on seein the baby for a while :)

  • Young Dame

    What up Mrs. Sakuragi! We got your back out here so keep kickin up dust and to all you haters lace ya boots up cause Big Milt is about to take Japan by storm. Thats his city now. True Talk!! Japan hasn’t seen nothing yet. Milt let that 97′ Long Beach Pyramid Summer League Game loose on em’. And for those that got to see the true JR Henderson that summer in his pureist form know what I’m talkin about. Give em’ the business Big Fuzz. HOLLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brett from Bakersfield

    J.R. had such a stellar UCLA career(I’ll never forget those freethrows versus Kentucky), but he always seemed a bit immature or whiny. If he is doing this well in Japan, where whinyness is frowned on, it is a clear sign that he must have matured as a player tremendously. Congrats…and don’t forget your fans in Bako. How about a CSU Bako versus Aisin Seahorses game? It’s on!!!

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