July 21, 2024
The teams of Yonsei 31 are ready for this summer’s goodwill trip to Japan, with the 24 players and four coaches headed to Shimane Prefecture next month. Back row, from left: coaches Darin Nakauchi and Kevin Kiyomura, Dylan Ped, Mia Kobata, Charlie Sporer, Matea Miyake-Trapp, Derek Osako, Torri Yoshida, Cole Schmidt, Mio Emi, coaches Brianne Yasukochi and Camryn Hamaguchi. Middle row: Kayla Tanijiri, Justin Mukai, Emi Hitomi, Caleb Shimazaki, Kori Matsumoto, Nathan Kasuyama, Risa Suzuki, Kai Yabumoto. Front: Drew Nakasuji, Megan Wada, Robert Arnold, Tylie Yee, Jarett Nguyen, Quinn Diamonji, Ryden Shiozaki, Leah Matsubayashi.

The Yonsei Basketball Association continues its cultural exchange tradition by selecting a new group of 12 boys and 12 girls to travel to Japan this summer.

In its 31st year, Yonsei provides eighth-graders the opportunity to engage with Japanese culture through community service, homestay experiences, leadership and interpersonal skill development, team camaraderie, all in addition to basketball.

The experience also allows youth who have grown up playing against one another through SEYO, JAO, CBO, or CYC to become teammates and make lifelong friendships along the way.

This year’s Yonsei 31 teams will travel to Japan in July. The players will have their homestay experience in Shimane Prefecture and will also travel to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima with family members who accompany them to Japan.

The Yonsei 31 girls’ team coaches are Brianne Yasukochi and Camryn Hamaguchi. Coaching the Yonsei 31 boys’ team are Kevin Kiyomura and Darin Nakauchi.

Players selected for the girls’ team are Quinn Daimonji, Mio Emi, Emi Hitomi, Mia Kobata, Leah Matsubayashi, Kori Matsu-moto, Matea Miyake-Trapp, Risa Suzuki, Kayla Tanijiri, Megan Wada, Tylie Yee and Torri Yoshida.

The boys selected are Robert Arnold, Nathan Kasuyama, Justin Mukai, Drew Nakasuji, Jarett Nguyen, Derek Osako, Dylan Ped, Cole Schmidt, Caleb Shimazaki, Ryden Shiozaki, Charlie Sporer and Kai Yabumoto.

Players have been participating in monthly basketball practices and Japanese culture lessons to prepare for their trip. They and their families have conducted fundraising efforts by selling raffle tickets and Yonsei 31 T-shirts designed by Japangeles.

The program’s largest fundraiser, the Yonsei Golf Tournament, will be held on Monday, June 24, at Candlewood Country Club. The team is asking for the community’s support with donations for the silent auction and raffle prizes, or golfers to participate in the tournament.

Exhibition games showcasing the Yonsei 31 and Yonsei 30 teams will be held on Sunday, July 14. Any-one with questions or interested in supporting the program can email [email protected] or visit www.yonseibasketball.org.

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