SAITAMA -- A Japanese American woman became the first female head coach in the history of Japan's professional men's basketball league on Nov. 24.
Natalie Nakase, who has experience as a head coach of a women's team in Germany, was hired by the bj-league's Saitama Broncos.
She replaces American coach Dean Murray, who was fired earlier in the day for what the team said was a violation of his contract.
"I know these aren't the best circumstances in which to be hired,'' Nakase said on the team's official website. "But I will do everything possible to get the job done. There is a lot of talent on this team.''
The 31-year-old Nakase was an assistant last season under former NBA coach Bob Hill for Tokyo Apache of the same league. In her playing career, she was at UCLA from 1999-2003 and spent four seasons in the now-defunct National Women's Basketball League.
The Broncos are seventh in the 10-team Eastern Conference with a 5-7 record.
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