James Carlos Agravante Yap Sr. is a Filipino professional basketball player for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters of the PBA. Known by his nickname Big Game James, he had played for the Star Hotshots for twelve seasons winning seven PBA championships.
James Yap had a successful high school basketball career at Bacolod Tay Tung High School and then at Iloilo Central Commercial High School, where he sparked his team to three consecutive Iloilo PRISAA titles. He then went on to play at the collegiate level for the UE Red Warriors and helped the team to the Final Four in 2002 after years of absence. However, the Red Warriors lost to the Blue Eagles, the eventual champions. In the following season of UAAP, Yap led the Red Warriors to the Final Four for the second straight time. Eventually in the semifinals series, the Warriors lost to the Far Eastern University Tamaraws. Nevertheless, Yap was named as the UAAP Most Valuable Player in 2003.
James Yap also played in the Philippine Basketball League from 2001 to 2004. He decided to declare his eligibility for the PBA Draft, and was selected the 2nd overall pick in the 2004 PBA draft by the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants. One of the focal points of the Purefoods offense, he is the 2005–2006 and 2009–2010 seasons’ Most Valuable Player. He is also the 2009–2010 Philippine Cup Conference MVP. In 2014, along with Peter June Simon and Marc Pingris, he led his team to a historic grand slam, earning the 2013–2014 Commissioners’ Cup and 2013–2014 Governors’ Cup Finals MVP Award.
One of the most popular players in the league, James Yap is the third all-time leading scorer in Purefoods history, behind Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codiñera. Since entering the PBA, James Yap has been selected to start every All-Star Game. He has won the All-Star MVP award in 2012. He is also a many-time member of the RP Basketball Team.