For many Japanese Americans, weekend basketball recreational leagues are a means of bridging a generational gap and bringing the community closer together.
“It seems like basketball is the only thing that holds the community together, like the third and fourth generations,” George Imamura, former president of the largest Japanese American basketball organization (in Southern California) said.
Also, according to the LA Times, these Japanese American basketball leagues have been successful at producing strong players at a high school and national level.
“[These] leagues give you a great foundation. They’ll[the players] go on to play club and high school; they get a head start from everybody else since they’ve been playing since 6 years old,” Joe Kikuchi, head basketball coach at Mark Keppel High School, said.
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To learn more about the long legacy of these Japanese American basketball leagues, visit the LA Times.