Owen is defending the inbounds pass against the Hokkaido International School.
Owen completed his basketball season this weekend at the Western Japan Athletics Association (WJAA) middle school boys tournament. Marist Brothers IS hosted the games in Suma Beach, located on the western side of Kobe. The Senri & Osaka International Schools “Sabers”, Owen’s team, lost a tough semifinal game 42-44 to the Sons of The Light, an international Christian school from Kobe. They were trying to avenge their only loss from the regular season, but just didn’t have enough. Owen made two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to bring the Sabers back. The Sabers went on defeat the Hokkaido IS in the consolation game to finish in third place. A disappointing finish for the team, because we thought they had the best team in the tournament. But that is the nature of the knockout format. The Sabers finished 11 wins and 2 losses, with wins over Kansai University International Academy, Marist Brothers, Nagoya IS, Canadian Academy, among others.
Tip-off against the Sons of the Light (Owen is on the left side of the picture)
It was a breakthrough season for my son. He is enthused about basketball and is now following NBA games online and practices outside of the team practices and games. It would be nice to get him on a club team here and to get him to play in a basketball camp this summer in the USA. He was a part-time starter / sixth man on the middle school “A” team as a seventh grader. He is improving as he plays more and getting more comfortable with the game.
It is funny in the photos of this blog post the differences of the sizes of the boys. Grade 8 boys hit puberty and with growth spurts occurring at different times, you can really see young men playing against boys. Owen is still a little boy but is on the verge of onset of puberty.
I was the assistant coach for the team this year, helping out head coach Rodney Ray. I worked more with the developmental squads (“B” and “C” teams) but got to spend some quality time with my son. Just getting the experience of playing on a competitive sports team and learning how to handle victory and defeat and be a part of a team is so valuable for boys. I would like to thank coach Ray for his dedication to the team and his work with Owen.
I am looking forward to follow his soccer season which starts in January. Go Sabers!