Years active: 2004-2005
Career stats: 4 G, 1.8 PPG, 0.8 APG, 1.0 RPG
The only Japanese-born player to play an NBA game, Yuta Tabuse fought long and hard for his NBA dream. He played one season for BYU-Hawaii to try to get his name floated around the American college ranks before turning pro in Japan. After a season back home, he played on the Mavericks and Nuggets' summer league teams before getting a crack with the Suns in 2005. Although he was cut three months into the regular season, the four games he played is a historical marker for Japanese basketball.
That recognition actually landed him on the Japanese cover of NBA Live 2006 even though he didn't play a single NBA game that year. Tabuse bounced around NBA summer camps and the D-League until 2008, when he returned to Japan for good. Much respect to the 5'8" 165-lbs guard for spending around seven years in the United States for a fleeting NBA moment when he could've been schooling his countrymen in the J-League.