CANBERRA, Australia – Akira [ah-KEY-ra] Jacobs, a top basketball prospect from Japan, has joined NBA Global Academy, an elite basketball training program at Basketball Australia’s (BA) Centre of Excellence at the Australia Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra, Australia.
Jacobs, an 18-year-old, 6-7 shooting guard/small forward from Yokohama, becomes the first Japanese prospect to join an NBA Academy on a full-time basis. Earlier this year, Jacobs participated ina short-term basketball development program at NBA Global Academy, which included a trip to the U.S. in July to play in the 2022 NBA Academy Games. He also attended Basketball Without Borders Asia 2022, where he won the Patrick Baumann Sportsmanship Award.
Jacobs previously played for YOKOHAMA B-CORSAIRS U-18, a youth development team affiliated with the B.LEAGUE’sYOKOHAMA B-CORSAIRS. He was also a member of the U-18 Japanese Men’s National Team that won the silver medal at the FIBA U-18 Asia Championship in August 2022.
“I’m so excited to join the NBA Academy program and take the next step in my basketball journey,” said Jacobs. “This will give me the opportunity to play alongside some of the best young players in the world, learn from amazing coaches and develop all aspects of my game.”
“After watching Akira compete this past summer, our staff and players are thrilled to have him join NBA Global Academy on a full-time basis,” said NBA Global Academy Technical Director Marty Clarke. “Akira is a promising young player, and we look forward to helping him take his game to the next level.”
NBA Global Academy serves as the NBA’s hub for top prospects from outside the U.S. The AIS campus in Canberra is home to world-class, elite high-performance facilities and leading sports practitioners in the fields of sports science, sports medicine and coaching. AIS is a world leader in high performance and is the flagship of the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Government’s sports agency.
About NBA Academy
NBA Academy is a year-round elite basketball development program that provides top high school-age athletes from outside the U.S. with a holistic approach to player development and a predictable pathway to maximize their potential. The program emphasizes health and wellness, character development and life skills, and gives athletes the opportunity to learn the game from coaches with professional, collegiate and international coaching experience. Since 2017, NBA Academies have been launched in Canberra, Australia; Greater Noida, India; San Luis Potosí, Mexico; and Saly, Senegal for top prospects from their respective countries and continents. In March 2018, the NBA launched the NBA Academy Women’s Program, a series of basketball development camps for top female prospects from outside the U.S at the league’s academies. To date, more than 80 NBA Academy participants have committed to or gone on to attend NCAA Division I schools in the U.S., and 14 have played, are playing or have signed to play professionally. Find out more about the NBA Academy program at nbaacademy.nba.com, on Twitter (@NBAAcademyPR) and on Instagram (@NBAAcademy).