On a wet and cold 2021 summer day, I watched a basketball game between Tokyo Samurai and Bay Corsairs. The venue was Miyamae Sports Stadium in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. It was my first time seeing these under-eighteen teams, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was an excellent afternoon for sports photography.
The Samurai won a difficult game 59 – 54. It wasn’t an easy win. They weren’t in the lead for a large part of the game. It was a contest that balanced on a knife edge for a long time. In the early stages, it seemed the Corsairs held the upper hand.
But, the Samurai stepped up their game late in the third quarter and continued that drive into the fourth. The Corsairs didn’t give in without a fight. Right up until the very end, they pressed their opponents hard. The players were under eighteens, but they displayed good skills and athleticism. I thoroughly enjoyed watching and photographing the boys.
Every time I watch basketball, I’m amazed at some of the falls. The players lose balance, slip, or their shoes lose traction. It doesn’t matter. They get up and continue playing. Some must take a few heavy bruises home.
Basketball is a growing sport in Japan, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens with it over the next few years. The professional game, B-League as it is known, is growing in leaps and bounds. I wonder how many of these boys will be playing in it?
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