Pepperdine’s Stacy Davis joins Kyoto Hannaryz in Japan

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Salt Lake City, UT - MARCH 28: of the Salt Lake City Stars at vivint.SmartHome Arena on March 28, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

Stacy Davis’s signing with Kyoto Hannaryz follows a season spent with the G League’s Salt Lake City Stars

Former Pepperdine Waves hoops standout Stacy Davis is taking his talent to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Davis will lace up his sneakers for Kyoto Hannaryz, a team in Japan’s B.League. Davis signed a contract with the squad earlier this month.

The 28-year-old decided to play with Kyoto because his one-year deal with the team gives him an option for a second year.

“It’s security in terms of financial security and in terms of knowing where I will play,” Davis said. “If all things go well, I won’t have to worry about what I am doing next going into the next summer.”

Davis, who graduated from Pepperdine as the men’s program’s all-time leading scorer in 2016, had been talking with Kyoto head coach Roy Rana about the possibility of signing with the squad since March. 

Davis’s signing with the Japanese club follows a hoops season in which he played 31 games in the NBA’s G League for the Salt Lake City Stars. He averaged 12.2 points and 6 rebounds for the Stars. He thought about playing in the G League again this upcoming season but decided not to when he saw the changes that had taken place — three new players selected in the NBA Draft and a change in coaching staff — with the Stars’ parent team, the NBA’s Utah Jazz.

“In terms of the actual opportunity I might get, I felt like going to Japan was the right move because of the stability and financially,” Davis noted. 

Davis has thrown dunks and splashed three-point shots in countries such as Ukraine, France, Poland, and Finland since graduating from Pepperdine in 2016.

He said playing in the G-League was fun but noted his favorite season was the 2020-21 campaign when he played for Alba Fehervar in Hungary. Off the court, Davis enjoyed visiting Budapest. On the court, he averaged 18 points and 6.7 points a contest.

“My teammates and I had a really good bond,” he said. “Especially my point guard and I. We hit it off.” 

The former Wave is hoping for similar success in Japan. 

“The best thing for me is that this is another opportunity for me to showcase my talent,” Davis stated. “There are a lot of former NBA guys in this league, a lot of guys that could get an opportunity to play in the NBA. This is an opportunity for me to show I belong amongst those types of players. It is another test for me to prove to myself that I am who I am as a basketball player.”

Davis will fly to Japan the second week of August. Kyoto has a preseason game the next week, and the season will tip off in October. 

Kyoto is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, a larger district, on the island of Honshu. The city is the cultural capital of Japan and a major tourist destination.

Davis aims to explore the country in addition to playing basketball. Visiting Tokyo and Osako are on his agenda, as well as visiting temples and Nara Park, the location of the Sika deer, which are known to bow to humans. 

“I want to immerse myself in Japanese culture,” Davis noted. 

Davis also wants to whet his appetite before stepping on the court. 

“The first thing I’m doing — without a doubt — is getting some A5 Wagyu steak,” he said. “That is the first thing that is on my priority list.” 

Stacy Davis played in the NBA G League for the first time this season. Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images.

Former Pepperdine basketball standout Stacy Davis, seen in action last season for the G League’s Salt Lake City Stars, signed a one-year contract — with a second-year option — with the Japanese basketball team Kyoto Hannaryz. Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images.