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 […]

HOOP DREAMS: Yuta Watanabe ready to make his NBA dream a reality

TOKYO — After scoring 18 points to help Japan beat Iran in a World Cup qualifier in Tokyo on Sept. 17, Yuta Watanabe’s mind quickly turned to the United States where he will soon be fighting to make a name for himself on basketball’s biggest stage. The 23-year-old finished his four-year collegiate career at George […]

Warriors celebrate Asian heritage

OAKLAND, Calif. — On Dec. 1, the Golden State Warriors celebrated Asian Heritage Night at Oracle Arena. Fans were entertained outside the arena by the Shaolin Kung Fu Lion Dance Team of Oakland. Students from the organization started with a lion dance and performed martial arts demonstrations led by Grandmaster Chiu Chi Ling. Chiu is […]

Brett Yamaguchi, the Golden State Warriors’ entertainment orchestrator

OAKLAND, Calif. — Few sports fans would refute that the Golden State Warriors have been one of the most entertaining teams in all of professional sports this season. From their furious pace and lightning quick ball movement to Stephen Curry draining shots from otherworldly distances, the entertainment value of Warriors games has been compared to […]

Despite Clarkson, turnovers lead to the Lakers’ downfall

OAKLAND, Calif. — On Jan. 14, Jordan Clarkson led the Los Angeles Lakers on their final visit to the Bay Area this season as they took on the defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors. Despite leading the Lakers with 22 points, the Lakers fell to the Warriors 116-98 at Oracle Arena. Clarkson, a 6-foot-5 […]

Lin signs with Charlotte Hornets

Jeremy Lin, a 26-year-old Palo Alto, Calif. native who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, signed a free agent contract with the Charlotte Hornets on July 9. “We’re really excited to add Jeremy to our team,” said Hornets General Manager Rich Cho in a conference call with media after signing Lin, […]

Japanese American coach leads Sacramento’s McClatchy High to city’s first state title

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It took 160 years, but on March 27 a girls’ varsity basketball team from Sacramento made history as the first sports team from the Sacramento City Unified School District to win a state championship. And they did it in dramatic fashion. The C. K. McClatchy High School Lady Lions beat the Junipero […]

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