Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Taiwan R.O. C’s No.1 college PG joins SHIGA LAKES - MVP of the Taiwan University League for two consecutive years "Thank you for evaluating me."

At Press conference

After gaining promotion to B1, the SHIGA LAKES announced on June 24 that they have signed Yu Ai, Che to a new contract for the 2024-25 SEASON. Yu will be registered under the Asian Special Quota.

Yu, a native of Taiwan and currently 22 years old, is a 183 cm, 82 kg point guard. He attended National Chengchi University and won four consecutive championships in the UBA Taiwan University League. As an individual, he won the assists and steals titles for four consecutive years and was named MVP in 2022 and 2023. He has also represented Chinese Taipei in official competition. He will now begin his professional career in the B. League.

Yu, President of Basketball Operations Futoshi Nakayama, and Sports Director Takato Hara made the following comments via the club's official website on the occasion of this announcement.

■ Comment from Yu Ai, Che

Hello everyone, my name is Yu Ai, Che. First of all, I am very happy and honored to be a member of SHIGA LAKES. It is not easy to start my professional career in Japan and in the B1 League. I am grateful to owner Futoshi Nakayama, and everyone involved with LAKES for recognizing me. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to play at this stage. My family and the National Chengchi University are very supportive of me and are looking forward to seeing what I can do in SHIGA. I will try to fit into the SHIGA LAKES culture and system as quickly as possible and show my value to help the LAKES's win. I have heard that the support from the SHIGA LAKES boosters is incredible, so I am looking forward to it. See you all at the Shiga Daihatsu Arena!"

■ Comment from President of Basketball Operations Futoshi Nakayama

Yu is the No. 1 point guard of his generation, having won two consecutive high school national championships and four consecutive college championships in Taiwan. Last year, he participated in the WUBS in Japan, where he competed with the best players of his generation and NCCU (National Chengchi University) won the championship. 22 years old, he is very good at executing the coach's game plan and his on-court decision making is excellent. We value him as a player who fits the metaphor of a point guard who makes his team win. Yu had the option of starting his professional career in China or Taiwan, and in fact, several teams were offering. We traveled to Taiwan to communicate with Yu, and we made the best offer we could, and I remember as if it was yesterday when Yu decided he wanted to help us win the B. League Rookie of the Year title. Growing up in a family of seven, family is a very important part of Yu's life, and we are proud that he has chosen to grow with the LAKES. With his family and loved ones in mind, we all look forward to the day when the number 7 player takes to the court!

■ Comment from Sports Director Takato Hara

We are delighted to welcome Yu, who has the potential to lead the next generation of Taiwanese players, to the SHIGA LAKES as a new Asian Special Quota player as we work towards a "return to B1 and then to B Premier". As you can see from his profile, Yu is the No. 1 point guard of his generation, having won numerous titles as a leader of his high school and college teams in the national league. He has already represented Taiwan in official games, including the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Regional Qualifier window3 against Japan in July 2022. In this game, Yu, then a junior in college, has already experienced the top level of the B. League, as he played 22 minutes in this game and had stats of 4 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Next season will be his rookie year as a pro, and we look forward to watching him win playing time with the Shiga Lakes next season, a team full of talented players of his generation and guards, and to watching Yu make the step up to become a representative of Taiwan and the B. League. Everyone, please look forward to the success of Yu! Go LAKES!Go Yu!

   [Video] SHIGA LAKES' newest player Yu Aixiang's playing highlights