Youngest Deaf boy selected to national team for Deaf Basketball World Championship in Taiwan

January 5, 2015

Koriyama-shi, Fukushima-ken:

Echizen Yuuki (越前由喜), 15, a high school student of the Prefecture School for the Deaf in Koriyama-shi, Fukushima-ken, was chosen as a Japanese Deaf basketball team member. He will join the World Championship scheduled in Taiwan in July, 2015. He is the youngest player in the team historically.

Echizen had joined the local mini basketball club for boys when he was a fourth grader at an regular school. When admitted to the Prefecture School for the Deaf as a junior high school student in April, there were no basketball clubs in the school then.

In order to encourage his son disappointed, Father found a Deaf basketball team for grown-ups in Saitama-ken named "AIT'S", which Echizen joined in summer. He spends a dorm life at the school on weekdays and practices in Saitama every weekend.

He also played basketball on a meet, developing his skill rapidly. In summer, last year the Japanese Team head coach, Yoshitake Yoritaka (吉武頼飛), 34, watched the game which Echizen played and evaluated his play highly.

Echizen participated in the try-out training camp held in Osaka in September, and it was decided that he would be on the national team in December. There are only two teens in the team in which grown-up players are dominant.

Echizen says, "I play with the strong will that I'm defeated by no one as a Japanese team player, and I'd like to contribute to a victory. I'm looking forward to the upcoming world championship".

There are about 15 basketball teams in Japan that compete for the Japanese Deaf Basketball Tournament called "Mimi League" sponsored by the Japanese Deaf Basketball Association, etc.

Japanese source:

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