Santa Clara University point guard Ashley Hiraki, a hometown hoops hero

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Ashley Hiraki began playing in the Japanese American basketball leagues in the first grade for the San Jose Community Youth Service, and later, in the fifth grade, for the San Jose Ninjas. Now, the Santa Clara Broncos junior guard said her JA basketball experiences have helped her become a more well-rounded […]

Making JA coaching connections

In 2012, California State University, Fullerton Women’s Basketball Head Coach Jeff Harada met Kristin Iwanaga and Kerri Nakamoto, two Santa Clara University Women’s Basketball assistant coaches, at an Asian Coaches Association meeting at the Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Final Four. They see “each other out recruiting at tournaments and games and would talk and […]

Rockets guard Jalen Green, highest-drafted Asian American in NBA, partners with new Asian league

BRISBANE, Australia — Before Jalen Green joined the Houston Rockets, becoming the highest-drafted Asian American player in the NBA, he’d already experienced close up how passionate the people of the Philippines were about the game he loved to play. It’s part of the reason he’s partnering with the new East Asia Super League as an […]

University of Utah honors Wat Misaka with jersey ceremony

The University of Utah recognized their late alum, Wataru “Wat” Misaka, in an honored jersey ceremony Jan. 22. Misaka helped Utah bring a National Collegiate Athletic Association championship to Salt Lake City in 1944, and in 1947, he helped Utah capture the National Invitation Tournament championship. Later in 1947, he was drafted by the New […]

UCLA’s Juzang could be first Asian American NBA lottery pick

INDIANAPOLIS — Johnny Juzang’s impact at UCLA has been immediate since he transferred from Kentucky, giving the Bruins the scorer and dynamic player they had been missing in recent years. The junior guard was playing his best at just the right time, leading the Bruins into the Final Four for the first time since 2008. […]

History maker Hachimura fuels NBA boom in Japan

TOKYO — After becoming the first Japanese player to go pro in the United States via the NBA draft, Rui Hachimura is the face of a basketball boom in his home country. Hachimura’s progress in the National Basketball Association is getting wall-to-wall coverage in Japanese media and his face can be seen advertising everything from […]

Wat Misaka, who broke professional basketball’s color barrier, dies

Wataru “Wat” Misaka, the first person of color to play in professional basketball when he broke the color barrier in 1947, died Nov. 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was 95. A 5-foot-7-inch guard, Misaka was a legend on the basketball court. He led Weber Junior College to two ICAC junior college titles in […]

Hachimura can deliver for Washington and Japan, says NBA’s Silver

TOKYO — Rui Hachimura has an opportunity to be “incredibly successful” in the pros if he commits to his craft and manages to navigate the challenges of life as a player in the world’s best basketball league, says NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Speaking to Kyodo News in a Tokyo hotel on Oct. 7, Silver said […]

Washington selects Hachimura 9th in NBA draft

NEW YORK (Kyodo) — Rui Hachimura became the first Japanese player selected in the opening round of the NBA draft when the Washington Wizards claimed him with the ninth pick June 20 in New York. The 21-year-old Hachimura played three seasons at Gonzaga University before being drafted. He now will join a Washington team that had […]

A brief history of Japanese American basketball in the Bay Area

First QuarterUnlike baseball, which was introduced to Japan by the United States in 1873 and played by the immigrant Issei, Japanese American basketball was a predominantly Nisei sport and truly a Japanese American phenomenon. Basketball in the Japanese American community started gaining popularity in the 1920s with recreational teams forming wherever there were significant numbers […]

Kyplex Cloud Security Seal - Click for Verification