August 08, 2011
UGAYA Takashi (22), a senior majoring in social informatics at Gunma University in Gunma Prefecture, was chosen to be on the Japanese team for the World Deaf Basketball Championships, which will be held in Palermo, Italy in September.
Takashi, a native of Tochigi Prefecture, was good at running when he was a little boy, and became interested in basketball that running controls the game. He started playing basketball when he was a fifth grader of elementary school.
He completely absorbed in basketball from the junior high school through the high school. He met a Japanese Deaf basketball team player when he was a junior at the high school, and came to think, "I want to play for the world game some day".
Takashi joined the adult team whose coach was fluent in sign language after entering the Gunma University, and has practiced hard four days a week. He participated in the Japanese team trial in July last year, and was chosen as one of nine boys, realizing his dream since high school days.
The Japanese team has competed for the first time at the last championships in 2007. It is hoped that the new national team will accomplish the goal as one of the eight best teams. This year Japan is scheduled to compete against Slovenia which is said to be stronger in preliminaries. Takashi signed, "I am looking forward to playing against these good players".
"I want to continue basketball even if graduating," he signed about his dream, "I also want to teach mini basketball in the future, making the best of using my experience in the world championships".