Slam Dunk Scholarship Recipient Observation Visit 2020 (Part 1)

Slam Dunk Scholarship Recipient Observation Visit 2020 (Part 1)

Slam Dunk Scholarship Recipient Observation Visit 2020

This is the first time I've visited Maine.

Unrelated, but the state of Maine is where the Maine Coon (cat) is from.

This is the roots for Tora and Mii who used to live with us, so I was happy to be able to visit.  Looking at a map of the USA, it is the farthest North on the East side, so it is cold.

This time, I am visiting Taiga Kagitomi, the 10th scholarship recipient (Fukuoka University Ohori High School -> St. Thomas More -> Bowdoin

College) at Bowdoin College which he currently attends.  It is pronounced like "Bo-deen" or "Boh-din".

It was founded in 1794.

By the way, this college is an outstanding university in America, on par with Ivy League colleges like Harvard, Yale and Columbia.  Kagitomi is working hard, tackling the dual mental and physical disciplines of academics and basketball here.  That is really amazing.

Tatsuaki Sakai, the 9th SD Scolarship recipient (Hokurikugakuin High School -> St. Thomas More -> St. Joseph's College) is also coming here today.  It's a game between St. Joseph's College (SJC) and Bowdoin.

SJC is a 4 year college also in Maine, about an hour drive away.  Sakai is a junior point guard.

They play different positions so I probably won't get to see them match up against each other, but I can say that I am looking forward to watching SD scholarship recipients facing off.

The Bowdoin Polar Bears take the early lead, but they aren't able to pull away.  In the second half, SJC takes control with a more athletic offense and defense.  They come from behind and keep the momentum to get a win on the road.

Sakai, the starting PG, has a fully developed set of communication and leadership skills.  He distributes the ball wells and gets creates a good rhythm.  He was the team's control tower, making passes off of drives like crazy, ending with a record 12(!) assists.  He played the full 40 minutes, powering his team to the win, fully fulfilling his duties as a PG.

On top of that, when I visit SJC the next day, I discover that he has built a great relationship with the coaches and the college staff.

For the other side, Kagitomi is a starting forward.

Even through their breakdown, he led the team and played his heart out for

37 minutes.

Even though it doesn't show in the numbers, he was the lubrication that made the team run on offense, while also showing how he can attack the goal, and on defense he marked the opposing ace.

Even in defeat, he made use of his all around skills, and was an irreplaceable part of both his team's offense and defense.

I'm happy I was able to attend this game.  I want to give both of them my heartfelt gratitude.

I will be rooting for both of them as they continue to boldly walk the paths that they have chosen.

I was really really hoping that I would cross paths with and see a wild Maine Coon.  But alas...

I did not.  _| ̄|


2020.01.16

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