A recent event at the new Terasaki Budokan prompted Alan Kosaka to ask why there hasn’t been a basketball reunion for old and not-so-old folks who wanna kibitz and recall the glory days of action on the court.
Well-known for organizing community events, especially when it comes to all things basketball, Kosaka has taken the lead in organizing a Japanese American hoops reunion, to gather generations of players, coaches, families and fans.
The event will take place Saturday, June 25, from 5 to 9 p.m., with all proceeds to beneit the operations and programs at the Budokan, where the reunion will take place.
Calling the reunion a “fun-raiser” and a relaxing evening to share memories, Kosaka said, “It will be an opportunity to recount stories (or make them up), debate the best teams and – perhaps – identify a JA greatest of all time?”
Anyone who participated in organizations including NAU, SCWAU, NCWAU, CBO, CYC, SEYO, JAO, Sansei, Yonsei, OCSA, Nikkei Games, YBA Summer, SBY, and GEO are invited to join the reunion.
Organizers are hoping to compile a list of team names, so everyone is encouraged to submit their teams and years – Lords, Imperials, Lakers, Wanjettes, Air Geta, Striders, Tigers, Kirin Dragons, etc.
Feel free to bring memorabilia to share – and especially if you can fit into your old uniform!
A special presentation by the John R. Wooden Foundation to 2021 honoree Coach Dave Yanai will be begin at 5:15 p.m. Please arrive early to secure a seat to hear the outstanding accomplishments of Coach Yanai and watch him receive a well-deserved award.
Another special guest, Hiroaki “Zombie” Yamamoto, who scored 75 points – before establishment of the 3-point line – in an NAU game, will be in attendance.
There will also be a tour of the Terasaki Budokan, to learn about their programs and see the JA sports history showcase assembled by resident JA sports sports enthusiast Mike Murase.
A raffle will be held, and a special T-shirt for the evening has been created and is available for pre-sale.
Refreshments will be available for purchase, and attendees are encouraged to visit one of the many restaurants in Little Tokyo for pre- or post-reunion eats.
To RSVP for the event, visit http://evite.me/ nsKQyjfeyw or email Alkosaka61@gmail.com.
The Terasaki Budokan is located at 249 S. Los Angeles St. (at Second Street) in Little Tokyo.
Parking is extremely limited at the Budokan. Available parking in the neighborhood can be found at www.parkme.com/map. Arrange to walk in groups. If walking alone, escorts will be provided to return to your cars.
Photos from Rafu Shimpo / JANM / Toyo Miyatake archives