On January 31st, the Seattle Yonsei hosted their first 3-on-3 basketball tournament at the Nisei Vets Hall. The Seattle Yonsei are a newly-formed group of 4th generation Japanese-Americans working hand-in-hand with the NVC Foundation to raise awareness about the story of Japanese-American incarceration and the Nisei veterans of World War II. Aside from an accidental hole in the wall, which has since been repaired, the tournament went off without a hitch.
NVC Foundation President Bruce Inaba was in attendance and gave all 15 participants a tour of the NVC Hall before play commenced. For all the participants, it was their first time touring the Hall. A few were even hearing the story of Japanese-American incarceration for the first time.
The tour of the Hall brought on a different sense of intensity and focus to the players. What was supposed to be a casual day of recreational basketball turned into a fiercely competitive struggle to win the tournament. One can only deduce that the magnitude of being in the storied Nisei Vets Hall, along with the eye-opening and educational tour of the facility, brought about a sense of urgency in the competitors that may not have been there had the tournament been played at any other gym.
The tournament’s reception was almost universally positive; accordingly, a second tournament has been planned for Saturday, April 18 at Blaine United Methodist Church. The full-sized court at Blaine has been booked in order to accommodate what will be a larger field of participants.
If you are interested in participating in the next Seattle Yonsei 3-on-3 basketball tournament, please call David Yamashita at 425-444-2816.