First Slam Dunk Basketball Scholarship Awarded
posted on by Mikhail Koulikov
The Slam Dunk Scholarship, a program organized last year by the hit basketball manga's author Takehiko Inoue, has selected its first recipient. If he passes an admission interview, Okinawan eighteen-year-old Narito Namizato will receive a full academic and athletic scholarship for one year to Connecticut's college preparatory South Kent School. There, he will study English and prepare for potentially playing basketball at the college level in America's National Collegiate Athletic Association. Inoue will accompany Namizato to his admissions interview, which will be held on October 7-11, but will not make any public appearances or give talks. Funding for the scholarship is provided by Slam Dunk's publisher Shueisha.
According to an earlier interview, Inoue decided to establish this scholarship to express his appreciation for American basketball and to promote the game further in Japan. Inoue thinks that the lack of a successful professional basketball league in Japan has kept many promising athletes from continuing to play past high school, and hopes that winners of this scholarship will then use their knowledge and experience to improve the status of professional basketball in Japan.