About Basketball in Japan


japanese basketball

After an interview with the head coach, Sakai Yoshiyuki, in this article we would like to introduce Kokugakuin Kugayama High School Basketball Team. Therefore, we discussed with two of the team’s ambitious players – Yuzuki Ishizaka, and Ko Ishimizu, the team captain.


Q: How old are you?

Y.I.: 16 years old
K.I.: 16 years old

Q: What other hobbies have you got besides playing basketball?

Y.I.: Spending time with my cat at home
K.I.: Playing badminton and table tennis

Q: What areas of Tokyo do you spend most of your free time in? What activities do you prefer?

Y.I.: I like watching movies at the theatre.
K.I.: I really enjoy Shibuya and Kichijouji.

Q: What inspired you to start playing basketball?

Y.I.: My friend has introduced me to basketball when I was in elementary school.
K.I.: My parents encouraged me to play basketball.

Q: How do you think basketball impacts your daily life?

Y.I.: I learned consideration, concern, and the importance of being a nice person by being part of a team.
K.I.: It has helped me develop leadership and taught me how to work for other people.

Q: What was the biggest seat-back in your life as a basketball player – a time where you were almost about to quit? How did you overcome it?

Y.I.: I never thought about quitting basketball, but when times were hard, I focused on thinking how to resolve and overcome the situation.
K.I.: I was going to quit basketball when I went to middle school, but my teammates and friends convinced me to continue.

Q: How do you manage to keep up with your studies while also playing basketball?

Y.I.: I am usually very busy because of basketball, but when I have time, I do my best to study.
K.I.: I try to study whenever I get the time.

Q: What is your main goal as a basketball player?

Y.I.: I would like to achieve my goal, which is having great results during high school competitions. Also, I want to focus on being a good person.
K.I.: As a team captain, I try to keep the team together. On top of that, I would like our team to reach the top position in Tokyo and then Japan. As a player, I would love to be a famous player in Japan.

Q: What is the most important things people abroad should know about basketball in Japan?

Y.I.: Japanese players are a bit shorter than other countries, so we value speed more.
K.I.: We are very patient and focused on defence techniques.

Q: Are you planning to continue playing basketball after high school?

Y.I.: Yes, I want to continue playing basketball after high school.
K.I.: Yes.

Q: Now that we have answered the questions of our foreign audiences, is there anything you are curious about regarding youth sports culture abroad? Please share your questions with us.

Y.I.: How long do American players practice basketball per day?
K.I.: There is nothing in particular that I am curious about at the moment.

Kokugakuin Kugayama
Interview with Yuzuki Ishizaka

Kokugakuin Kugayama
Interview with Ko Ishimizu


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