Former CU basketball star Josh Scott enjoying life in Japan on and off the court

Colorado native recovering from knee injury

Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Former Colorado forward Josh Scott is looking forward to his return to the basketball court after a knee injury derailed this past pro season in Japan.

Josh Scott figured something was wrong but, being the stoic trooper he always has been on the court from the time he was a burgeoning star at Lewis-Palmer High School in Monument through his standout career at Colorado, the big man figured he could jog it off.

It wasn’t going to happen this time.

The former Buffaloes basketball star and native Coloradoan has found a home in Japan, on and off the court. The 6-foot-10 forward has spent two seasons with the Ryukyu Golden Dragons in Okinawa, and despite seeing his 2018-19 season cut short by a significant injury, Scott reports  he is reveling in the experiences his three-year pro career has taken him.

“It’s all good,” said Scott, who is spending a few weeks in Colorado before returning to Japan. “Things happen for a reason. I love it (in Japan). I’m learning the language. I love the people and I have some good friends over there now and have met a lot of people through the experience. I get to travel the world. I love it.”

After graduating from CU following the 2015-16 season, leading the Buffs to the last of four NCAA Tournament appearances in five seasons that spring, Scott signed with a pro club in Macedonia for the 2016-17 season before spending the past two years in Japan. Despite an injury that might delay the start of his season, Scott is set to return to his club in Japan next season. And he can’t wait to get back.

“In Japan, their culture is based and built on respect and dedication and hard work, loyalty,” Scott said. “It’s a little different, so you gain a different perspective when you travel the world. Europe gave me a different perspective. Japan gave me a different perspective, being able to meet people, and I’d have never met these people if I didn’t get to have this situation.

“It’s a good time to learn something new about yourself when you’re overseas and immersed in a different style of doing things.”

It still was Christmas back home in Monument, yet Dec. 26 in Japan, when Scott felt his knee buckle in the early moments of a game. That attempt at jogging it off clearly wasn’t going to work, and soon Scott was diagnosed with a torn patellar tendon.

Scott missed the remainder of the season after averaging 17.1 points and nine rebounds through 27 games. He averaged 18.3 points and 10.9 rebounds during his first season in Japan a year earlier. Scott returned to Colorado in large part to continue the rehabilitation on his knee, and he hopes to return in time for the start of the 2019-20 season.

Scott says his rehab is on target, yet his particular injury often can prove troublesome. He can look no further than former CU teammate Andre Roberson for that stark reminder. The Oklahoma City guard suffered a torn patellar tendon in late January of 2018 and remained sidelined through the entire 2018-19 season.

“I’m playing as soon as possible. That’s the plan,” Scott said. “Hopefully I’ll be back most of the season, if not all of it.”