The Japanese representative Shafer Avi Yukiki once belonged to the youth organization “Tokyo Samurai”, which focuses on athletes who attend international schools near Tokyo and schools inside US military bases, with U15 to U18 generations. In recent years, he has been actively interacting with teams of the same age group in Japan and has participated in youth competitions sponsored by the B League. In the summer of the last few years.
Tokyo Samurai traveled to the United States and participated in a showcase against a local AAU (Area Select Team). We have provided opportunities for American high school and university officials to show their abilities, but the new coronavirus had to give up this year. Instead, in mid-July, a 5 to 5 scrimmage was held in Kawasaki, with former OBs and other members participating. The evaluation of the scout who saw the video at this time is published on the recruiting information website in the New England area in the eastern United States .
In this showcase, Roy Ikue (St. Mary’s International School) was the youngest at the age of 15 and showed a bright play. Ikue, who has a Nigerian father and a Japanese mother, is 195 cm tall and has a wingspan (length with both hands open) of 208 cm, an attractive size, and light footwork and ball handling. There is no smell. After the end of the event, I asked the rough stones that are looking forward to the future, about their career and future goals.
“First of all, the goal is to represent the under generation of Japan.”
──Tell us when and when did you start playing basketball in earnest?
I started from the second year of middle school. Until then, I played various sports such as soccer, wrestling, and swimming. I started playing soccer during school breaks, but it was during the baseball season that I lost my soccer goals. Then I started playing basketball. I am in the first year of high school, but when I was in middle school, I was in the U15 team at Earth Friends Tokyo Z.
──By the way, what position did you play in soccer? Soccer is a popular competition in Nigeria, the father’s home country. Did you regret switching to basketball?
In soccer, I played various positions centered on the left wing and the left side back. My dad felt a little disappointed when he said he would concentrate on basketball. But my mom told me to play basketball.
── What kind of response did you have about this showcase? Are you aiming to play in America in the future?
I think I could have done more because I had a broken toe. I think it would have been better if I could shoot a little more and dribble more. My future goal is to play at NCAA, an American high school. However, there is also a prep school (school for going to university after graduating from high school) in the United States, so the goal is to be selected as the representative of Japan for the under generation.
Last year, I participated in the Japan National Junior Youth Academy (from middle school year 3 to high school year 2 where there is a lower limit of height. Middle 3 is 190 cm, high 1 is 192 cm, high 2 is 194 cm or more), but it is called the U15 representative I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t do it. I want to do my best this year to get a U16 tryout and join the team.
“I want to grow myself comprehensively”
──I think the wingspan of 208 cm is particularly fortunate, but do you think it is a weapon?
I think so. However, although I am blessed in Japan, there are some children in the United States, etc. who are my height and have longer wingspan. From now on, I would like to improve my shooting and dribbling skills and level up. My current positions are 3 and 4, but in the US I play guard with my height. In the future, I would like to play No. 2 and No. 3.
──Are there any longing players? Also, do you look at the match because the goal is to enter NCAA?
My favorite player is Yannis Adetkunbo. I like Duke University at NCAA. Also, I often watched Gonzaga University games when there was Riki Yamura.
──Finally, what do you want to spend and how will you spend the next year?
To be better everyday than I was yesterday. It’s a lot of work to practice now, but even when you can’t use a basketball ring, you can train to improve your muscular strength and jump strength, and you can train your ball handling. When I can use the ring, I want to practice shooting, etc. to grow myself comprehensively.
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