Tuesday 6/12 - Wednesday 6/13

 

Group 1 (Roman, Brandhon & David)

 

Roman Silva Jr.

The flight from LAX to Tokyo took in total 13 hours and I felt everyone one of them. I’ve never been on a plane for so long and I dread the flight back home. After our connecting flight to Fukuoka we were met by our guide and after a quick meal we were taken to our hotel for the night.

 

After waking up we ate at the food court of a train station and departed to Kumamoto on a two hour bus trip. I was surprised to see just how green the rural parts of Japan really are. Also, the use of public transportation was and continues to be truly eye opening and gives a nice insight to the daily life of the working class here in Japan.

 

Moving on from are departure from Fukuoka, we arrived at our next hotel before we left for our daily scrimmage. And after a short, crowded train ride, we arrived at the gym. The scrimmage itself was competitive as well as it was interesting to see the different styles that teams from other countries play with.

 

Finally, we came to the conclusion of the day after a surprisingly tasty meal at a local restaurant. A short walk back to the hotel and we get to do it all over again tomorrow.

 

 

Brandhon Thomas

We took off from LAX around 1:15 on a pretty big plane. It took us 11 hours to get to Tokyo. I watched two movies and slept for a bit on the first plane ride but I slept the whole way on the second. The second flight was from Tokyo to Fukuoka, where we stayed the first night. I found it weird that the hotel rooms didn’t have showers in them. There was only a community shower, where this is one open room to shower and you have to be naked. I didn’t understand the reason why, but that’s a apart of Japanese culture. Also, most of the rooms are very small because most of the people here are smaller than us. It’s a lot different than the US, but I still like it. I have used public transportation more in the past two days out here than I have my whole life. There were trains on the street and underground. It must be common out here because it was crowded every time we got on a bus or a train. Today, we took a bus to a different city that was two hours away, where we played our first game. We played pretty well as a team. It was a bit awkward at first playing against the team because they travel a lot but I guess it’s not called here. We ended up winning and going back to our hotel to rest and get ready to travel to another city for tomorrow.

 

 

David Perry

Day 1: The first day was adventurous I got at least a mile of walking in. The hotels we stayed at we nice because I fell right to sleep but I kinda think it was because we didn’t have any English channels on the television but any ways I slept good. And I’ve been on a McDonald’s diet because I don’t want to buy something and throw it away and waste anyone’s money. But I think this trip is going to get more fun. They tried to tell us to try out there traditions how they take showers we everyone in one bathroom but I wasn’t going to. We saw so many things while walking there was 7 elevens everywhere and tall buildings. The games were interesting we played 6 10 min quarters and after we played it looked like the other team was about to start a practice and it was like 930 I felt bad but there only going to get better . But during the game they didn’t call fouls evenly on both side they gave the other team literally a foul every time. They dribble towards the basket it was automatic they was gonna get a foul call. And they didn’t call one travel they where taking 4 steps on their euro steps.

 

 

Group 2 (Austin, Ryan & Khristofer)

 

Austin Azarovitz - Our first day in Japan we landed in Tokyo. I couldn’t see anything so I have no idea what the landscape looked like. After that we flew to Fukuoko and it was such an amazing experience. The buildings were different and the language of course. The next day we got up and went to the subway and got on a charter buss and drove to the high school/college. We played 6 games each lasting 10 min long. We won the game 108 to 112. I have enjoyed everything in Japan and can’t wait to try new food and experience a whole new culture.

 

 

Ryan Haywood

So far in Japan it has been a different experience. It makes you appreciate the things that we have back home in America. Our first day we went into a hotel and it was much different than how I expected it. I stayed in a room that was suppose to have three beds and I was expecting to be back home. However, it was just three small mattress’ on the floor piled next to each other. The rooms were small and the bathrooms were small. It was a much different experience. Also, throughout the day we have been taking the public bus and train to travel from place to place. It’s a first time experience for me because I have never taken any public transportation of that sort before. We traveled to our basketball game by a train and then walked the rest of the way. Walking through the school in Japan, everyone looks at us and waves hello. Down here they also play basketball a little different which makes you have a different view of how other cultures play, but all in all it’s the same. Also, the food is much different than America’s food. They have a 7 11 down here in Japan and Starbucks but it is still different. I’m a really picky eater so it’s hard to find things I like down here. The second hotel that we are staying in tonight is a little better than the first hotel but still not the best, of what I’m use too. Everything is much smaller here and it kinda puts us in a culture shock. However, all in all this trip has been adventurous for the past two and I know the next couple of days will be fun.

 

 

Khristofer Newsome

Deer lovely parents

 After our flight, which was a good flight. We got off the plane then got our bags, after we got our bags we met a student that has been helping us and show us to our destinations. We then got on the subway and went to McDonalds to eat, the menu was a lot different from back home. After we got out food we took a bus to our hotel. The hotel was nice but the rooms were small. Once I got to the room I went straight to sleep. The next morning we had to leave the hotel by 10am to another hotel, we got breakfast in side the train station the we got on a charter bus to go to the next city which was a 2 hour drive. The drive was great, there was a lot to see and a lot of things to take pictures of. Once we got off the bus we walked to our hotel and checked in and took our bags to the room. We had to do it fast because we had to hurry up to get to our game which was a 20 minute train ride. The game was at a high school and the gym was on the second floor of the building, when we walked in we had to take our shoes off. We were first told that we were going to play six quarters but only played five. The game was different because they travel out here and it’s okay. After the game we went to this place similar to a strip like in Vegas and we got food, I had pork and rice and an apple juice, it was really good. We then came back to our rooms and I went to sleep.

 

Love you, can’t wait to see you. KHRIS

 

Group 3 (Christian, Joel & Josh)

 

Christian Finney

The trip so far has been full of adventures from being on the plane for twelve hours then landing in Tokyo and then being back on the plane again for another two hours to get to Fukuoka. Once we arrived we in Fukuoka we had to take 2 trains to get to the bust stop by the hotel we where staying in.

 

 

Joshua Benjamin

The hotels out here are totally different from U.S hotels they don’t have bathrooms inside them and they have a community bathroom for  all the guess that are staying in the hotel. The beds where not what I expected to be we slept on thin mattress on the floor that where all bundled up next to each other.

 

The next day we woke up around 9:00 to leave by ten to catch the bus to get something to eat and then from there we waited on the charter  bus to take us to are next destination which was Kumamoto. Once we arrived we had to take the train to arrive at are hotel.

 

To end the day off  we had a scrimmage against a team from Japan where we played 5 10 min quarter games in which we won.

 

 

Joel Finney

I have had a good time in Japan so far. We had a 14 hour flight from Los Angeles to Japan. We have traveled on city busses public trains, and walked a whole lot to get from place to place here in Japan. All I have ate so far is McDonalds really. I’m not with the Japanese food to be honest. We won our first game so that’s good. I am having a good time with my teammates. We have told a lot of jokes and we are bonding well. The only real complaints I have is that we are walking a lot and the hotel room doesn’t have bathroom. I have to brush my teeth, use the

restroom, and “shower” in the community restroom. Other than that the trip has been great and I am excited to see what tomorrow brings.

 

Japan has been a wonderful experience so far . Yesterday day we stayed in a pretty unique hotel that showed us what Japanese culture is like . This morning we packed all of our things and went to go get breakfast before we traveled to our new destination.

 

After we took the bus to eat. We got back on another bus but this time it was charter bus to take us to the next city which was Kumamoto. After the two our drive we finally made it to our destination and we stopped for drinks at a local 7 11 which is totally different from the one in America because they have no familiar drinks I was a costumed too , so I just tried a Japanese drink that was pretty good . After 7/ 11 we boarded  into our new hotel and got ready for our game . The game was a good experience and was fun to play in another country and see the talent levels from this country

 

 

Group 4 (Ebony, Bryant & Chris)

 

Ebony Cooper

Japan is nothing how I expected it to be. To be fairly honest, I didn’t really have a clue as to what it would be like. I kind of imagined it to be like New York in a way, but it is NOT (at least the smaller cities aren’t). When we arrived in Japan, I was so hungry because I didn’t really like the food we got on the airplane. We met our translator and escort, Shota (I don’t know how to spell his name), waited for our luggage, and then road on a subway train. Luckily, we found a McDonald’s after we got off the train, so we made a mass order and took the food to go. We ate while we walked to the hotel. My back was hurting very badly because I had a bunch of things in my back pack. The hotel was not what I had expected either. I shortly found out that the Japanese really embrace togetherness and community because apparently, they don’t have showers in the rooms! They have community showers and and bathrooms and such. I am not an open person, so there was no way that I was going to use the community showers. I ended up using the hand towels in the room to wash up. I do have to say, the beds were not bad at all; I slept very peacefully that night, especially because I was tired from all of the walking.

 

When I woke up the next morning, I was excited and ready for what the day had in store for us. For breakfast, we went to this place with hundreds of restaurants and food stands, and we were able to pick what we wanted to eat. However, some of us players decided to go to McDonalds again because nothing seemed to interest our taste buds. At McDonalds I thought I had order a regular sausage McMuffin like they have in America, but it ended up being a cheeseburger with an egg on top along with ketchup, mustard, onions, and pickles. I thought that that was so weird but I realized that jack in the box also does that. Anyways, after breakfast we took another subway train to a bus station, and from there we drove about 2 hours to the next city. After we got off the bus, we had to walk again to our hotel. By then I was in excruciating pain (just kidding) from carrying my heavy back pack and pulling my suitcase. We dropped off our things at the hotel and walked back to where we were to get a “light snack” before the game. Then we road a trolly to the game (we still had to walk some distance to get to the actual gym). When we got to the school that the gym was at, some of the school kids were very nice to us and waved and said hello to us. I felt very welcomed to be there. From then we played 5 10-minute segments, and we ended up winning the game! For extra points, i think I played pretty well :). After that, we road the trolly back to get some food. There were so many options and places to choose from; my dad and I spent like 30 minutes just walking around trying to find a place to eat. Low and behold, we just ate at McDonalds again! I was so irritated because I was tired and hungry, and I didn’t like the chicken nuggets that I order too much. You can imagine that I knocked out right when I got to my room at the hotel, and I slept very well again through the night. So not an awful first two days. I give it a 6/10 [thumbs up]

 

 

Chris Obiekea

The flight from LAX to Tokyo was 13 hours. I was very uncomfortable until I found out that they had chocolates and movies I wanted to watch. When I got to Tokyo I was surprised by how colorful it was.

 

 When I got to the hotel I was welcomed with a super tiny sink, a super thin mattress on the floor, and a super small table designed for Smurf's (movie reference). Don't even get me started about the trash cans they were so small that I think a single toilet paper could have filled it up. But I managed.

 

 At the game we had 6 to 10 min. games and it was pretty fun and Chris (one of the players) made and lob pass dunk. But don't get me started with the travels.

 

 

Bryant Obiekea

My visit to Japan has been interesting. The first thing I have to say is....... wow, this city was built for small people.

Seriously, for example the bathroom is so small that when I sit on the toilet my knees touch the door. When I take a shower I can not stand up, I had to take shower on my knees. I also could not turn to scrub my back because I get my elbows bruised from hitting them on the wall. It seems like the bathrooms were built for a toddler. However, I am having fun, although I am still wondering how can people get use to living in this dollhouse-like rooms and bathrooms.

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Thursday 6/14

(Resort Stay & Clinic)

 

Group 1 (Roman, Brandhon & David)

 

Roman Silva Jr.

Day 3:

We woke up fairly early today at 6:30 for breakfast at the hotel. The breakfast was interesting as it incorporated many American traditional breakfast options as well as those of the Asian culture. After breakfast, we promptly checked out of our hotel and left to a bus station where we waited for quite some time to travel to our next location.

 

When the bus finally arrived we loaded all of our luggage and climbed aboard. The bus ride was through the city was bumpy and had some traffic; however, when we pushed through the country side we were surrounded by absolutely beauty. Traveling through tunnels carved into a green jungle, the likes of which I’ve never seen before in the US, was definitely one of my favorite highlights of the trip.

 

The arrival to our destination sparked interest in the team as our hotel is right on the water. After a brief tour of the area we rested and moved on to the clinic we had scheduled for the night.

 

At the clinic the kids were very responsive and eager to learn. Their work ethic was duly noted and very impressive for their age. After several ball handling drills, we scrimmaged the team. As we were leaving many of the players wanted to take pictures with us and a few ever asked for signatures. We waited several minutes for our shuttle to arrive and headed back to the hotel.

 

 

Brandhon Thomas

Today we went to breakfast at 6:30 in the morning at our hotel. There were foods I’l wasn’t very familiar with so I didn’t eat them. After that we went to the bus station to catch our bus that was scheduled to leave at 10. While we were waiting, we went to see a statue and took pictures by it. The bus ride was a little over three hours and we saw a lot of farms and trees. After the bus ride ended, we were picked up on a bus and taken to our hotel that is right by a beach. We went a took some team pictures on the beach then headed to the gym to do a clinic for the kids. They worked really hard and even when they messed up never stopped. Also, they were much more skilled than I expected. After we put them through some drills, we played against them in a friendly scrimmage. It was good to see them having fun and competing against us even though we are older. After the game, we took pictures with them and headed back to the hotel.

 

 

David Perry

Day3: Today we woke up for breakfast at 6:30 that was a heartbreaker because I’m used to waking up at like 8:30. But the breakfast was ok I just ate bread and orange juice .We took a bus to a new place this time we were in dorms. The dorms were nice I like the look around the place we’re right on the coast and have a ocean view. We took pictures on the stairs by the beach and coach Coop tripped but it wasn’t funny I thought he torn something tbh. After that we worked a clinic and helped some kids get better. The kids out here are more passionate about basketball because they aren’t worried about social media and other distractions. That’s good so they can just focus on getting better I was thinking when I get back I’m going to try not to be on social media till the school year starts. But the clinic was fun the kids enjoyed it and we had them working . We scrimmaged after the clinic the kids were all under 5 foot so we just threw it in the post and cut off that. I was pulling jump shots but I don’t know why I wasn’t making them maybe my shot is broke now? Hmm the world will never know . But I think it’s the basketballs they use are different from ours we have grip on ours.

 

 

Group 2 (Austin, Ryan & Khristofer)

 

Austin Azarovitz - So today we did have to travel from our small hotel and went to a small town close to the ocean. The name is hard to pronounce but it stared with an m. After the 3 hour buss ride with the amazing scenery we pulled up on a hotel right on the beach called Aoshima Fisherman’s Beachside & Spa. The last part is very ironic because there is no spa, only a hot spring. And there is only one rule for the hot spring and that rule was tradition. The rule is that you have to wear your birthday suit. If you don’t know what that is it pretty much means you have to go in there nude. This hot spring rule applies to all community showers too. I have yet to try that. After arrival we went up to our room and o....my....gosh. They are nice.  It is a form of like 16 beds and all of them have curtains around them and have a light in the bed with an outlet inside every single one of them. I am very disappointed with myself with the first half of the game but I 100% picked it up the second half. Tomorrow’s Weill only have a clinic so it is like our day off. I wish I stayed up to see what was going on last night but I was dead tired. I just tried then turned on my music and crashed. I will have to see what went down last night.

 

 

Ryan Haywood

Today we woke up at 6:30 and had breakfast.  After breakfast we packed our bags and traveled to another city called Miyazaki. But before we traveled we went to go site seeing at a Japanese castle. After the site seeing, the bus ride to Miyazaki was about 3 hours long. We arrived at the hotel and got settled in. After we got settled in we went to the store to get some food because we hadn’t eaten since breakfast. Then we traveled to a a basketball clinic to help some of the Japanese’s high schoolers. We walked them through many ball handling drills for about an hour and then we scrimmage them to help them get better.  After the scrimmage, many of the Japanese’s high schoolers wanted to take photographs of us and wanted some of our signatures. It was a cool experience because of how excited they were to see us. After the clinic was over we came back to the hotel and had some dinner. After that we played some 2k and then we all went to sleep.

 

 

Khristofer Newsome

Deer parents, One reason we woke up Thursday morning we had breakfast that the hotel provided us, but I only had toast wit strawberry jam because I didn’t want to take a chance on the breakfast. After that we had to pack up our things and head to the bus station which was like a 10 minute walk. Once we got to the bus station we walked over to a statue that was around the corner and everyone took pictures with it, then we walked back and got on the bus, the next bus ride was 3 hours to another city. Once we got to the city we got off that bus and got on to a smaller bus and it took us to out next hotel. The hotel is really nice it’s right by the ocean and the way the rooms are set up it’s like a dorm and has bunk beds, it’s really cool. After we brought up our stuff we all went down by the ocean and took pictures by the ocean. A couple of us went to eat at this market which was up the street. I got a burger from the food truck that was in front, it was really good. After that we got back on the bus and went to this place, I think it was a rec center where we did a clinic with younger kids and then we played against them. After the game we took a lot of pictures with the players. Once we got home we had food waiting for us at the hotel. After I ate I went to sleep. Love you, KHRIS

 

Group 3 (Christian, Joel & Josh)

 

Christian Finney

Yesterday was busy as usual. We checked out of our hotel around 9:30 in the morning and walked to the bus station to pick us up and take us to  Miyazaki which is 3 hours from the city we departed from. While we where waiting for the bus to arrive the team went to go see this beautiful castle with nice statues and a lake near right by it. Once the bus came we where on the road for 3 hours and I was anxious to get off the bus already because my legs started cramping. Once we arrived in Miyazaki the weather changes from being sunny and hot to rainy and windy. When we arrived at the hotel I was expecting small things again like the beds, sink and etc.

 

Later that night we worked a clinic like we do back home the kids where doing various drills that we do such as 2 ball ball handling, change of directions and etc. Once they finished with the drills they wanted to play against us but they had like 7 and 8 year olds on the team so it was kind of strange that they wanted to play with us knowing we where bigger and stronger then them. In conclusion of course we won the game by a blow out but it was only to make the kids better.

 

 

Joshua Benjamin

Japan has still been a cool experience. Today we woke up, ate breakfast amd had a 3 hour bus ride to our next hotel. We then went to the beach and took pictures as a team. It was cool to see a different ocean for the first time. After that we went and got some lunch and went back to the hotel. Next we had an hour and a half bus rode to a clinic where we helped lots of Japanese kids improve t basketball. We helped them with some different drills it was a really good experience helping the youth out here.

 

 

Joel Finney

Today we got up and ate breakfast at the hotel but it was like they were serving dinner or something cause they served some rice and what appeared to be some type of Japanese dishes, which really weren’t appealing to me, So I ended up just eating some bread and some type of Japanese bacon they had which was decent considering the circumstances. After that I went back to my room to get ready because we had to switch hotels again because we were heading to another city. I had to leave my room just to brush my teeth in the hotel bathroom because we didn’t have one in our rooms as well as a shower. After I brushed my teeth everybody was all packed up and ready to go and start the day.

 

When we left the hotel we stopped by the Kumamoto castle before we got into our next bus. It was really nice and ancient and it had a river flowing through it which made it even more nicer . We all took pictures at the castle then got ready to board the bus to Miyazaki which was a 3 hour drive and the next city we were going too. When we reached our destination we arrived at this beautiful hotel by the ocean and it was a total upgrade in the ones we have been staying in before because of how nice it was . We all went by the ocean to take pictures and walk down the boardwalk to view the sight we were at . After we were done with that , we went to go get something to eat and they finally had something I heard of before and I was able to enjoy? Which was a bacon cheeseburger from a food truck which was pretty good .

 

After we ate , we headed of to a school where we helped kids by performing a clinic and put them through drills in our dribbling routine they we do daily . I was pretty shocked on how good most of the kids were because they were so young. After the clinic was over , the coach wanted us to play against them and I was shocked because they were so little , but they really wanted to play us so I was like cool then . We ended up blowing them out but it was all fun and the kids loved it . After they took pictures with us and greeted us with respect showing how grateful they were to have this opportunity to learn under us . After this we left when back home were I took a shower and went to sleep .

 

 

Group 4 (Ebony, Bryant & Chris)

 

Ebony Cooper

Despite the unusually small rooms and furniture, I have enjoyed sleeping in the beds on this trip; I always wake up feeling good and refreshed. Today was the first day that we ate breakfast from the hotel. There were eggs, toast, rice, salad, sushi, and even curry. The only problem was that the scrambled eggs came from a bag! They were super watery and runny, but at least they kind of tasted like scrambled eggs from home. After breakfast we had to pack up our bags again to go to the next hotel. At least this time we took a charter bus to the next hotel, so we were comfortable for the next 2 hours. Something that was cool was before we left on the bus, we got to visit a Japanese castle! There was a very beautiful river running under a bridge right in front of it which looked awesome. After the bus ride, we were picked up by a 20 passenger shuttle from the hotel (which was a very good sign since the other hotels didn’t even have a shuttle). The ride to the hotel was great. The hotel was in a city named Miyazaki, by far the best city we’ve been in. We saw so many green plants and trees and rice patties. The hotel ended up being right by the ocean! We were all so excited and happy because it was such a step up compared to the last hotels we were in. I was given my own room with 2 bunk beds, a tv, a toilet, and a shower— I was so relieved!! Later, we went to get something to eat at a small store near the hotel. Almost all of us got something to eat from a food truck outside of the store because it was selling cheese burgers, and they were not disappointing. After eating, we took the shuttle to the gym that we were supposed to play in. Before the game, we did a clinic with the players who were invited to come. I believe the players were about 13-15 years old, but they looked like they were about 10-12 years old.we ended up beating them by a lot because we were so much bigger than them. After the game, many of the parents and players took pictures with us, especially with Roman since he’s so tall; it was funny to watch him because he would completely tower over them. When we got back to the hotel, it was about 11pm, but the hotel still had food waiting for us. The food was much better than the breakfast we’d eaten this morning, but it was still so much different from home. Although, I completely fell in love with the spaghetti they’d given us; it was by far the best serving on the plate. After dinner, we gave the Mrs. Tami our dirty jerseys, and she stayed up to wash them, which was very nice of her. This trip just keeps getting better and better.

 

 

Chris Obiekeake

When I got to the hotel inthe city of Miyazaki. I was shocked by how much better it was than the other hotels. It was by the  beach and had a spa, the beds are big, and the shower is actually pretty good. After I put my luggage away I went to  the beach and got some seashells. I even found a ring.

 

After that I went to a near by store to buy lunch. The food tasted really good.

 

When I was done at the store, me and my teammates went to a clinic and helped their kids with drills. After the drills we did a scrimmage.

 

 

Bryant Obiekea

Yesterday we went to Miyazaki city which turned out to be a beautiful place. It was a nice resort by the beach. We got our selfs situated and then did couple of thing. Worked by the beach, went to grab something to eat and went to have a work out and a game with some kids. It was nice yesterday. And best part, was that I finally had my own bed to sleep in and that wonderful regular size shower. Men, finally I took a shower in a normal size shower.

 

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Friday 6/15

(Sightseeing) & Clinic

 

Group 1 (Roman, Brandhon & David)

 

Roman Silva Jr.

Today was a fairly relaxing day overall. We woke up at 9:00 to eat breakfast at our hotel. The breakfast was overall very good with a lot of typical American breakfast cuisine.

 

After breakfast we had a slight break before we went out to sightsee. The island we visited was a shrine dedicated to prayer and worship. The island itself was extremely beautiful and well kept.

 

After the island we ate lunch on the beach. Personally I got a poke bowl, sushi in a bowl, and a huge shaved ice. The poke was some of the best I’ve ever had and the shaved ice was very good too.

 

After a quick break we drove to the clinic and worked out the kids there. It was a cool experience just like the day before. It was a quick clinic but the players were lively and energetic throughout.

 

Coming home from the clinic pretty much everyone fell asleep on the bus ride back. When we arrived to the hotel, a number of players were less than impressed with the meal and opted to skip dinner. After the quick meal, we showered and turned in for the night.

 

 

Brandhon Thomas

Today we went breakfast at 9 and the food was much more familiar than the past couple days. After that we went back to the dorms and played 2k together. At 12 we went down the beach and took pictures near the water. There was a sacred place where people pray to God and we went inside to walk around and see the process. We also took pictures with some people that were there. Then we went to the clinic again and participated much more. There was a high energy level the whole time and the kids worked real hard. They listen very well and respond to instruction. I was surprised that they were able to understand us even though we don’t speak the same language. After we finished, we scrimmaged them again. They had fun and really competed against us. After the game, they were all smiles and a lot of them came up to us to ask to take pictures and ask us questions. Also, one of the parents gave the team some postcards to take back home. To end the day, we went back to the hotel to eat and get ready for a long day tomorrow.

 

 

David Perry

We woke up at 8:30 walked down stairs to a Italian restaurant for breakfast. It seems like everyone is starting to ease in to eating their type of breakfast. I ate some bacon, croissants, and chicken nuggets. I don’t know how to tell u how that all goes together but the breakfast was cool. After that we went sightseeing and took pics on a holy spot and we had to be really quiet which was pretty hard for me but I managed to pull it off. It was a beautiful island lots of exotic area a lot of trees and plant life. We came back to the dorms and some of us played 2k and the crazy thing is I’m the only one that was losing it was upsetting because it was getting out of hand. I was losing to Joel and he don’t even play 2k. After that we worked the clinic it went real smooth the kids enjoyed it. We kept the energy up the whole time a lot of clapping and yelling to keep the motivation and energy up. After that we came back to the hotel and I took a shower and went straight to sleep.

 

Group 2 (Austin, Ryan & Khristofer)

 

Austin Azarovitz

Today we didn’t have much to do. In the morning we went sightseeing to the island closest to our hotel. We found out that the place was a very holy place of prayer. We needed to be quiet and respectful and wash our hands and mouth before going in. On our way out there were this group of  local girls and they asked for some pictures. After the pictures I shook their hand and they stared screening with some....... excitement? I later found out that I made her happy?? I still don’t know what happened. After sightseeing we went back to the hotel and some of the guys went into the dorm bed room and others went into the living room. David was mainly in the living room loosing his money in 2K to almost everyone who challenged him. The others were resting up for the clinic or just on their phone. After 5:30 rolled around we headed to the high school. We helped with the clinic and after we played another game against the little kids. But come to find out those kids were in high school and just really really small. Then after that we headed to the hotel ate dinner and now it’s time to see what’s going to happen.

 

 

Ryan Haywood

Today, June 15th, was a similar day to that of yesterday, June 14th. We woke up as a team and had breakfast at 9am in the morning at this Italian restaurant that is underneath our hotel. After we ate breakfast we went back in our rooms to rest and maybe play some more 2k. Everyone was having a good time during our little free time that we had. After at about 12 we went site seeing on this small island that was walking distance from our hotel. On the island there was a place where the Japanese people come to praise and pray to their gods. Before we walked into this temple we had to wash our hands and mouths to cleanse ourselves. We looked around and took pictures and then we all met back in the beginning. Afterwards we all got some lunch and then headed back to our hotels again. We had another break until 5:30, which is when we left to go to another basketball clinic. This basketball clinic was a little more organized than the first time because we had a better understanding of what we were going to do. The clinic went well again and all the Japanese students had fun. When the clinic was over, there were more pictures taken and we received a gift from one of the parents. This parent gave us a bag full of postcards that we could give to our families back home. We thanked them for this give and we went back home. After we came back home we ate dinner and then went to sleep.

-Ryan Haywood

 

 

Khristofer Newsome

We started off with breakfast in the morning and we got to sleep in some which was great. After we had breakfast we had some time to get ready and relax before we went aight seeing. We went to a shrine that was on an island by itself. Then we had lunch at this park that was at the beach next to the shrine. The food was good. In between lunch and our game/ clinic we had free time to relax in our rooms. We then got to the gym a little before 7  after we did the clinic we played against them, the game was good we won and had fun. Once we got back to the hotel we had dinner waiting for us, we ate then went back to the room. I took a shower then packed and went to sleep.

Love you, KHRIS

 

Group 3 (Christian, Joel & Josh)

 

Christian Finney

Today’s day was mellow and fun. We where able to sleep in a little which was great because I’ve been exhausted and haven’t fully adjusted to the japan life style. To start are day off we had breakfast at the restaurant where we’re staying at which was pretty good they served the basics like bacon, eggs and etc. After breakfast we went sight seeing where we saw nice land scapes and visited a place where in Japanese culture they go to prey. After we went sight seeing we went to the restaurants by the beach where I ate the biggest frozen ice cone ever which was really good and wished they had that back home. To end the day off we held a very energetic and fun clinic where the kids where playing as hard as they can and putting in good work. After the clinic we scrimmaged the team and won by a blow out to end off a great day.

 

 

Joshua Benjamin

Today was very similar to yesterday. We stayed at the same hotel. We ate breakfast and went by the beach again. Today we went to this religious shrine. It was very interesting to see. We helped the kids do workouts at the clinic again. It is a blessing to help kids get better. It’s also very cool when they ask for so many pictures after the clinic is complete.

 

 

Joel Finney

This morning I woke up around 8 and got ready for breakfast at 9. I had bacon, sausage teriyaki meatballs , chicken nuggets and a slice of toast . After I ate I went back in the room and chilled for a lil bit until it was time to sight see.

During sight seeing we visited a sacred shrine where we seen different things that represented Japanese culture that was pretty cool . After sight seeing it was lunch time and we ate at this food spot on the beach next to where we was staying that was pretty good . After that we chilled again and got ready for the clinic and put them through sections of drills which consisted of ball handling, shooting , and making layups. After the clinic we scrimmaged them and took pictures and went back to the hotel

 

Group 4 (Ebony, Bryant & Chris)

 

Ebony Cooper

I have to say, today was truly an awesome day. I may have overslept this morning, but my dad and i were still able to get breakfast because the nice ladies at the restaurant downstairs cooked us up a special breakfast. Then after breakfast, our group got to go sight seeing at a Japanese shrine, which was on the beach. On the way to the shrine, we stopped many times to take pictures of the beach; it was so beautiful! Us players decided to walk across a bunch of rocks to get to the water. We saw a lot of tiny crabs that may or may not have caused us to jump a couple of times. The shrine a very cool thing to walk through. We learned a little about some of the Japanese religious practices like washing their hands and mouths in a small fountain before entering the shrine. We got to see where their god lives along with it’s guardians. The scenery was very pretty and jungle-like; the only sound came from our feet walking on the small rocks on the ground. It was very peaceful and pleasant. After that we walked to a collection of restaurants located on the beach where everyone got to choose where they wanted to eat. Some of the guys ate a gigantic snow cone while others ate sushi. I went for the margarita pizza because I didn’t feel like eating ice or uncooked fish for lunch. After lunch we walked back to the hotel and just relaxed for a couple of hours until our departure to gym we played in yesterday. Again, we did a clinic for the kids we played against; however, today, the clinic was much better. We had a lot more energy and excitement, and we all looked much more professional. Then we played against the kids after the clinic. We played against more older kids today, but we still blew them out because they were just sooo small. We were even able to reach 100 points on them (102 to be exact). After the game, we took pictures with some of the kids. You could tell they enjoyed our company and learning from us because they all had big smiles on their faces the whole time, even when Roman completely blocked their shots. I personally enjoyed doing the clinic for them and having a friendly game afterwards.

 

For dinner, we ate at the hotel again, and it was absolutely delicious! It was the most American-tasting meal I have eaten on this trip. We were given grilled chicken with marinara sauce on top, angel hair pasta, a small salad, a macaroni salad with tuna, rice, and some kind of dumpling thingy with crab (I think) inside. I was very pleased. I actually went to bed full for once!

 

 

Chris Obiekeake

On Friday after breakfast we went to a shrine by the beach to pray and take pictures. It was clear to the hotel where we were staying so we walked there. The whole team made a couple of stops on the way there to take pictures and also to walk over some amazing rocks the high shore had created. To tell you the truth I was more into looking for crabs and shells. " You never know you could also find interesting stuff that is been washed by the tide " The shrine was nice and peaceful. After that we went  to eat lunch by the beach. I bought a huge rainbow ice cone and some fry chicken. It was delicious. When we finish we went back to the hotel and I played 2k18 with boys. I'm the evening we went to do a clinic to train and help some kids. The kids were so excited and the parents too. Japanese people are very dedicated and nice. One of the kids mom even brought us a card as a gift. Then headed back and I fell asleep in the bus. Gosh ..... "I almost broke my neck" I have never being so tired before. " But is worth it"

 

Bryant Obiekea

On Friday we went to a shrine where people go to pray. The shrine was located  in a little island near the hotel where we were staying so we walked there. On the way to the shrine I took pictures with the whole team (with beautiful views behind us) Also the sound of the waves and the fresh smell of the ocean were so soothing. We finally got to the shrine and they are some rules to follow when you are in there. One, you have to be very quiet when you are in there and two, at the entrance there is a fountain where everyone needs to wash their hands and mouth before entering. This people really take things very seriously (no joke). On the way back to the hotel I stoped by the shore so I could feel the water on my feet. The water was actually not as cold as I was expecting. It was warmer than the water in Malibu beach or Santa Monica back home. In the evening we went to do clinics with some Japanese kids. It was a wonderful experience to see the love the have for basketball and how excited the kids were. Let me tell you that I'm really enjoying this trip and the experience, but my behind is not. We spend more hours on the road than sleeping.

 

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Saturday 6/16

(Heading Back to Fukuoka)

 

Group 1 (Roman, Brandhon & David)

 

Roman Silva Jr.

Today was one of the more tiring days, especially after the last two days at the resort. So after an early breakfast we were ushered into a bus and shipped back to Fukuoka on a 5 hour drive.

 

Once we arrived back to Fukuoka we got on a quick train and walked the rest of the way to the university at which we were playing. The game itself was very different than the scrimmages we had already played on this trip. This team was prepared and it was almost like they had scouted us. It was a fairly close game throughout and in the end we only won by 15.

 

After the game and a combined team meal, we were brought to the dorms where we had a quick shower and knocked right out.

 

 

Brandhon Thomas

We went to breakfast at 7 today and left our hotel at 8 to the bus station. There were more people on the bus this time. Also there was a women's only section on the bus, which is something I had never seen before. It was a very long 5 hour bus ride back to Fukuoka, which is where we stayed the first night. We got food at  the station and took a quick train ride to the college we were going to play at. Then, we took a long walk from where the train stopped to the gym. There were a lot of players in the gym and I came to know that the University has an A team and a B team. We played at 4 and it was a good game overall. Everyone contributed and it led to a good team win. After the game, we went to our dorms to set our stuff down and the team hosted a dinner for us. We just at, talked to the players, and took pictures. Then, we came back to our dorms to get ready for tomorrow.

 

 

David Perry

We got up early traveled to another city. It was about a 4 hour bus ride I was listening to music and homework. We went to the college played their team they were pretty good. They had some of coops kids on the team if they weren’t on the team I think we would of blown them out by 50. They kids from coops last year team told us that was the best they’ve played and they still lost by 15. After the game we had a little party with the team and it was fun the food was actually good I had some type of chicken I’m guessing and it was fire. After that we chilled and chopped it up with some of the coop players from last year. They told us we went through the same experiences and y’all it was kinda cool. Then I just took a shower and went to sleep.

 

Group 2 (Austin, Ryan & Khristofer)

 

Austin Azarovitz

Today we woke up early, ate some odd French toast and began our 5-6 hour drive to Fukuoka. It was very long and a little cramped because the people in front of me put there seat pretty much all the way back. Once we arrived to Fukuoka we get t on a twenty minute train ride and had KFC for lunch. It was ok. Not the best chicken I’ve ever had not it was all right. Unfortunately my moms roller bag broke and she had to carry it. I decided to help out and carry the 50 Lb bag she had on top of it. It was a mistake not to bring a roller bag. We have already done so much walking. It felt like Hours but when we finally got to the gym we sat down and ate the KFC. Once I put my bag down though I felt a burning pain and sure enough there was a huge red mark on my neck and shoulder due to the weight of my bag and my moms. We did end up winning the game although the Japan team was really good, we still beat them. After the game we went to the dorm where we are going to be staying in for 2 days and settled in and to our surprise, the team who we beat invited us to a party they were throwing. We ate mostly sushi and small hand tools and Khris, or strong man, beat one of the players and he bought an ice cream for Khris. After the toast to our arrival and a cool dinner we headed back to the hotel and got some shut eye while most of the others were betting yen on NBA 2K18 on the PS4.

 

 

Ryan Haywood

Today, June 17th we started off the day by waking up at 7:30 and going to go eat breakfast at 8. Today was one of the good breakfast days because we had Yoshinoya. It is probably one of the best things we had as a meal in my opinion in Japan. After breakfast we had a game at 10 o’clock. We ended up winning the game and after we went to go relax in the dormitory for awhile. Then we went to go eat lunch at 1:30 and then we to catch another train because we had another game at 4. The train ride took us about 30 minutes before we arrived to the game. We ended up winning that game as well. After the win we traveled back on the train to get some dinner. We went to McDonald’s first and then back to this Curry House place that we had for lunch. The Curry place was really good and that’s why we decided to go back. One of the best meals in Japan. After dinner we arrived back in our dorms and played 2k all night and had fun. Then we all went to sleep afterwards.

 

Khristofer Newsome

Today was the day that we left the beach side hotel, we woke up and went down to the restaurant to have breakfast. After the breakfast we had to take 2 busses one that’s was around 5 hours long to get to the next city. Once we got to the city we had to take the subway for 20 minute to get to the university that we were staying at and playing at. We got to the gym we ate and then warmed up before the game. The game was really good it was just different because of how different they play out here. We won the game and after we were told that we were having a dinner party with the other players that we just played against. The dinner party was really cool, most of the other players were very social, asking questions and wanting to take pictures. After we got don’t eating one of the players wanted to play me in Rock Paper Scissors and if I won he would by me an ice cream. I ended up winning and he did buy me an ice cream from the vending machine, it tasted really good. After the dinner we went back to our rooms and two of the players that played on the other team who actually played for coop last year came back with us to hang out with us. After they left I took a shower and went to sleep.

 

Group 3 (Christian, Joel & Josh)

 

Christian Finney

Today’s day was usual we woke up for morning breakfast at the hotel and then got ready to board on the shuttle bus to take us to the bus station. Once we arrived at the bus station we boarded the bus and was on the bus for 5-6 hours to take us to the University to where we played against a college team from out here. Playing games out here is pretty different they let a lot of calls go and the opposing teams cheer so loud for there team after they score. We won the game by 17 and have 2 more tomorrow.

 

 

Joshua Benjamin

Today we woke up very early and had breakfast. After breakfast we had a 5 hour bus ride back to the first city we originally played at. We walked to this college to play our next few games. Today we played this college team and we won. We are staying at the dorms here at this college. The team we played today had 2 players that played for Cooper Academy last year. It was cool to see them playing all the way across the world.

 

 

Joel Finney

Today we woke up and got on a 5 hour bus ride from Miyazaki back to Fukuoka. When we made it , we stopped at a little food court to grab something to eat and we all had kfc. After we eat, we all took a train to the college we were playing at which was a 20 minute train ride . When we got there, we warmed up and got ready for our game which was at 4 . We played the game and we won by 17 and after that we went our dorm rooms which were on campus and got ready for a dinner that the college planned for us . After the dinner we went back to our rooms , hung out for a lil bit then went to bed.

 

Group 4 (Ebony, Bryant & Chris)

 

Ebony Cooper

This morning, we all had to wake up pretty early to eat breakfast in the hotel. The restaurant had even made a special dish for us: French toast! Now, of course, it didn’t taste exactly like American French toast, but it was still pretty good. It probably would’ve tasted a lot better with some syrup, but they apparently didn’t have any, so I improvised and used a fruit sauce to put on top of my French toast. After breakfast, we had to rush to our rooms and get our bags and luggage because we’d been told that the shuttle needed to leave by 8am in order to make it to our bus on time. We were supposed to ride on a charter bus for 6 hours, but it only ended up being for about 4.5 hours, which was a really good feeling on my behalf since the bus was so uncomfortable; it was the worst charter bus we’ve been on for this trip. Not to mention, there was a section of seats in the back corner of the bus that were labeled “Women only.” This made me extremely angry because the bus driver made me and Mrs. Tami sit in those seats. I came to the conclusion that a woman could only sit in a different seat if she is escorted by a male, which is just unbelievable! But I guess that’s just how the Japanese culture is. Once we got off the bus, we’d found a KFC (thank goodness) to eat before we got on a train to the university that we were schedule to play against. The ride was about 20 minutes long, and the train ride was not very smooth at all, constantly jerking and hitching. It probably caused some of our drinks to open and spill out in the bags, which was very disappointing when we actually sat down to eat in the gym. But I have to say, that was some of the best chicken I’d tasted in a long, long time, so I didn’t care too much about the drink. After we ate, us players put on our uniforms and started warming up for the game. The team we were about to play looked much different from the last teams we’d played because this was an actual college team. Some of my dad’s former Cooper Academy players from last year’s team were on the Japanese team, so it must have been nice for my dad to reconnect with them face to face. The game started out being very close, but on our behalf, we’d literally just gotten off of a 4, almost 5, hour bus ride. So we were tired and stiff, and we were missing a lot of layups. Eventually we came around, and in the 4th quarter we completely took the lead and beat them by about 20 points. Right after the game, our players gave their players a small gift. There were small American flags and red, white, and blue stars and other symbols that represented the USA. Then we were taken to the dorms that we would be staying in. My dad managed to get me a single-person room so that I could stay there too, and I have to say, I think I got the best room because I have a good amount of space, a toilet, and a shower! The other multi-person rooms don’t contain a shower, so the boys have to use the community shower. Lucky me! After settling in, we were taken to a room where we toasted “the Japanese way” and ate dinner with the college team that we’d just played. My favorite dish was probably the French fries. There was also a dish of meatballs, chili, and cheese, which was really good, but most of it was gone when I went back around to get some more. There were many other dishes too, but I didn’t necessarily like them for different reasons. We also had to eat standing up. I’m not sure why because they had many chairs, but they were off to the side. After dinner, we turned in our uniforms to be washed, got our sheets and blanket to put on our beds, and went to sleep (at least that’s what I did).

 

Chris Obiekeake

Today we went back to Fukuoka. When we got there we went to play a  game. At the game we meet two players who coach Cooper trained. Coach Cooper helped those two players to get a scholarship to play and study here in Japan. The game was very intense but we beat them. After the game the other team prepared a delicious dinner for us to eat with them. After that we went to our hotel to rest. (another exiting day has ended)

 

 

Bryant Obiekea

Today we ate breakfast before leaving the beach hotel to go back to Fukuoka. It was a 5 hours ride and my behind was numb. But anyways, "I'm getting use to it " Lol. When we got to Fukuoka we had a game at a University. After the game, we gave the players American stamps as a souvenir. We also met two players from the other team who use to train with coach Cooper. He helped them get a scholarship to go to that same University we played at. After we finished the game we eat a delicious dinner the other team had prepared for us. They wanted to thank us for being there. (such nice people).

 

It was another wonderful day in Japan. Can't wait for tomorrow.

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Sunday 6/17

(Back to Back Game Day)

 

Group 1 (Roman, Brandhon & David)

Roman

Today we were all over the place. After eating breakfast at yoshinoya we had our first game at 10:15am. It was a rematch from yesterday and the other team came out with more intensity and were determined to beat us. Late in the third we found ourselves down 10. However, after some strong defense guard play in a full court press we regained the lead and pulled out the win.

 

Next we pushed to eat munch before leaving to our next game. After the train the walk to the gym was pretty long. The next game was some of the same as far as the intensity but we kept a cushioned lead throughout the game and we even got to empty our bench in the final minutes.

 

The trip back to the dorms felt far quicker than the trip to the gym. We went to the same place we had lunch and everyone orders the same thing they did from earlier. After we ate we walked to the dorm, showered, played 2k and fell asleep.

 

Brandhon Thomas

We woke up at 8 to go get breakfast before the game at 10:15. We got there early and had about 30 minutes to warm up. It was closer than it was yesterday and we even ended up trailing for a good part of the game. Then we turned up the pressure and intensity the last 6 minutes of the 4th quarter and closed out the game and won by 1. After the game we walked to get food and back to the dorms. Then we left to go take the train for our other game at 1:30. It was about a 25 minute train ride and a 15 minutes walk to get to the next school. We played well all together and won by 16. We took pictures and gave them a gift. After the game, we walked back to the train station and went to get food and come back to the dorms. To finish the night, we played video games in the dorms until it was time to go to sleep.

 

David Perry

We woke up late as usual and went to yoshinoya for breakfast all I ate was the rice because brandhon told me that the meat was grey and it actually was. So after that we headed to the first game and we beat the same team twice but they put up a better fight and we only won by 2. After that we chilled and took the train to our other game and blow them out by 20 and everyone played. It was a long walk to get there it felt like we walked miles to get there cause we was going up and down hills and alleys. After that we went to the dorms to play 2k with some of the players that was with coop last year we popped them for like 5 thousand yin. And I got my first win at 2k this whole trip. Felt good taking people’s money and not getting mine took.

 

Group 2 (Austin, Ryan & Khristofer)

 

Austin Azarovitz

Today we didn’t have much planned on our agenda. We had two games and that was it. This morning we had chicken nuggets with fries and headed to the college across the street from our dorm. We did win that game by around 10-15. After that we got on a train and rode it for about an hour to the next gym. When Shota said it was our stop we all got our t and he lead us to the gym. To our surprise we all had to walk for an hour before we arrived at the gym. My mom, Coach Cooper, and the organizer of our trip( I don’t remember his name ) took a buss to the gym while we walked in the sun. After the game which we won by like 8 we walked back to the station, which was a solid hour away. We got on the train and took it to where we first arrived, and that’s not the dorm. Coach Cooper wanted us to eat so all the players not including Bryant and Chris but including two players from the university were playing at. We had McDonald and almost missed the train to the dorm. Once we got ack to the college we ate at the same place we had breakfast at and headed Back to the dorm for sure. Tonight my plan is to write this, get changed and get to bed. I don’t think I have adjusted to the time change. My body thinks it’s like 5:39 in the morning and not 9:39 at night. I hope I don’t to be honest because then I will have a hard time when I get back to Cali.

 

 

Ryan Haywood

Today, June 17th we started off the day by waking up at 7:30 and going to go eat breakfast at 8. Today was one of the good breakfast days because we had Yoshinoya. It is probably one of the best things we had as a meal in my opinion in Japan. After breakfast we had a game at 10 o’clock. We ended up winning the game and after we went to go relax in the dormitory for awhile. Then we went to go eat lunch at 1:30 and then we to catch another train because we had another game at 4. The train ride took us about 30 minutes before we arrived to the game. We ended up winning that game as well. After the win we traveled back on the train to get some dinner. We went to McDonald’s first and then back to this Curry House place that we had for lunch. The Curry place was really good and that’s why we decided to go back. One of the best meals in Japan. After dinner we arrived back in our dorms and played 2k all night and had fun. Then we all went to sleep afterwards.

 

Group 3 (Christian, Joel & Josh)

 

Joel Finney

Today we ate breakfast at yoshinoya before our game at 10. After we ate we got ready for our game which we ended up winning. After the game we went to this curry place where they had some pretty good food. After lunch , we headed back to the dorms for a while and rested before our next game which was at 4. We took the train there and we had a long walk ahead of us after we got off. We won our next game and exchanged gifts with them and took pictures, then headed back to our dorms where we had another far walk to the train station . Our legs were dead and we were tired for all the walking and stuff so it was a drag getting back. When we got back we all chilled and played the video game and went to bed.

 

Joshua Benjamin

Today we woke up and went to yoshinoya to eat breakfast. All I had was a little bit of rice because I wasn’t really liking what the food was looking like. After that we had our first game at 10:15 am. We won. It was a good game. For lunch we went to this chicken place and they had some good chicken nuggets. We then had another game at 3:45pm. We also won that game. We ate dinner at that chicken place again and I got chicken nuggets again. This is a good experience for me and I am glad that I went.

 

 

Christian Finney

To start our morning off I was expecting a good breakfast from like a breakfast place but that wasn’t the case, we ate breakfast at Yoshinoya and had rice with meat on top. I couldn’t really enjoy breakfast because of the chop sticks I couldn’t really eat as much as so wanted to because the chop sticks don’t pick up as much food as a spoon.

 

After breakfast we had a 10 am game against the college team again but this time they gave us a run for our money. They where up at halftime and momentum was on there side. Once coach called a time out and yelled at us we got back on track and closed the game out and won by 2. After are game we had another one at 4pm against a different college team to get to the game we had to take the train along with a long walk to get to the gym. Once the game started the game was pretty close and by the second half we outscored them and that’s what led a blow out victory for us.

 

Group 4 (Ebony, Bryant & Chris)

 

Ebony Cooper

This morning we ate breakfast at Yoshinoya since it was right by the dorms, for the most part. I actually don’t think I like Yoshinoya in the United States, but this one had some really good meat (I don’t know what it was) and put kind of sauce on the rice which made it taste not plain for once. After breakfast we walked to the gym at the university to play the first out of 2 games today. We played the same team from yesterday and beat them again but by only one point this time. We took a big group picture with them after the game and then walked to a curry restaurant right across the street from the university with the 2 former Cooper players. One thing my dad always says is “you can’t go wrong with curry!” Honestly, he is right! That curry place was really, really good. The first time we went there I got no curry with my fish and shrimp cutlet, but the second time we went there (I’ll explain later), I got the chicken and rice with curry and  my mouth started to have a little dance party in it. It was a little spicy which made it even better because I love spicy foods. Anyways, after lunch we walked to 7-11 to pick up some more snacks and other things, walked back to the hotel to rest for about 15 minutes, and then walked to the train station in order to get to the second university (that I can’t remember the name of). From the train we, again, walked to the university which was just awful because our legs were hurting, we were tired from the game and from walking so much, and the gym was far away. Despite the previous ranting, we ended up pulling through in the end and winning the game, so as of today, we are 3-0 for this trip. Let’s hope we can continue this winning streak!

 

As usual, after the game we walked the long walk back to the train station. We took a train to the Hakata Station where we departed from the family, my dad and Mrs. Tami, and Shota. This was because Shota had to drive the family to their hotel which was a different hotel than the one my dad and Mrs. Tami were staying in. They weren’t staying in the dorms with us players. As a group we decided that we wanted to go to McDonald’s AND to the curry place from earlier. McDonald’s was right next to the station, so we went there first. After, we had to go to the train station to get our tickets for the train, which we almost missed. The funniest thing that happened today occurred on this train ride. We were talking and minding our own business when Brandhon gets tapped on the shoulder by a young Japanese woman. She showed him her phone, and he said that they were asking David to be quiet, which he did not take so lightly. He was so sad after that because talking is like what he does best (I think that’s what he said). Then at the next stop, the two girls started giggling; they looked at each other and moved to the next train behind us. It was really funny at the time, trust me.

 

The former Cooper players, Jeremiah and Anthony, directed us back to the university and to the curry place where we ate for the second time today. As I mentioned previously, this time I ordered the plate with chicken on it with the curry, and it was very good. I was getting really tired, so I put my head down and dozed off while waiting for everyone else to finish eating. Then we walked back to the hotel where I had to do the laundry. Since Mrs. Tami was staying somewhere else that was far away, I was assigned to do the wash the uniforms. It wasn’t so bad. I did fall asleep a couple of times while waiting for the clothes but I managed to finish them and I gave them back to the players with a smile on my face. Then I was finally able to go to sleep on my rock hard bed with bean bag pillows. It was still a great sleep though.

 

 

 

Christopher Obiekea

On Sunday we played against the same team we played against on Saturday. They were more aggressive than before. But we still won. After that we went to our second game. We walked pretty far to catch the train, it was so hot that we were roasting. (it was frying hot) By the way, I realized that all of this walk it's making my calfs so tight I can't even pinch them, lol.

 

Anyway, the game was pretty intense but we still won again. Then we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

 

Bryant Obiekea

On Sunday we ate breakfast before we left the hotel. We drove to the same university where we played on Saturday. After the game we went to eat lunch to a restaurant close to the university. The name is Coco Curry House. We oder some rice with curry sauce and breaded chicken on top (delicious) Later that day we went to a second game. Those dudes were aggressive. They wanted to win so bad but we won. "sorry guys maybe me next time you guys will win "

 

 After the game, we also gave this players American stamps as a souvenir and took some pics with them. We walked back to the train station, grabbed something to eat on the way, and went to the hotel.  "Uff, I bet I'm ready to run a marathon"

 

 

Monday

Group 1 (Roman, Brandhon & David)

Group 2 (Austin, Ryan & Khristofer)

 

Austin Azarovitz

Today we didn’t do much except relaxing. We woke up this morning and got on the train to go to Fukuoka. There we went to Starbucks and then to Shakes pizza to meet up with everyone. Most people ate at the shakes but me, my mom, and Roman went to the best sushi place in the world. We all were thinking, if this is the best, this isn’t even a real bar. In Tokyo the sushi bar will go crazy! After we all ate we meet up at shakes and headed back to the hotel. Once everyone got settled in me, my mom, Ebony and Bryant and Chris’ family went on a walk to try to find a mall. With no luck we headed back and got some crab at the mall we ate the sushi at. Once we got back to the hotel me and Khris, strong man, played call of duty zombies and got up to round 16. After that game he took the ps4 and headed to his room. I got changed and got ready for bed. I am so tired. I don’t know if it’s cause of all the walking or the time difference whatever it is it is killing me. I hope I can sleep on the plain cause I am going to be dead tired. We leave for Tokyo tomorrow and then it’s the home stretch.

 

Ryan Haywood

Today, June 18th, we woke around 9 in the morning to leave the university dorms that we were staying at. We then went to the train station to met the family at their hotel. We got off the train station and waited in Starbucks. We all got some drinks and snacks because we were hungry. It was about 12 and we still hadn’t eaten so we went to shakeys pizza to get some food. The pizza was really good and it was a buffet so we were able to eat as much as we want. After we ate we walked to our hotels to check in and put our bags in there. We stayed in the hotel and chilled for a few hours before eventually going make to the mall where we ate shakeys at. We had dinner at the mall. We went to different places because we didn’t all want the same thing. I had the dancing crab which was pretty good. After we ate we met up by H & M and went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

 

 

 

 

Group 3 (Christian, Joel & Josh)

 

Joel Finney

Today we woke up and got ready to leave the dorms and head back to Fukuoka and the hotel we stayed in the first night . Today consisted of a lot of walking and we were tired especially cause it was hot out. For lunch we stopped at shakeys at a mall then after we ate we all put our bags in a taxi so they can carry or luggage so it can be easier for us to walk back to the hotel . When we got back to the hotel we all chilled and relax and played video games and rest the rest of the day till we went to shakeys again at night for dinner . After that we came back to the hotel and all went to sleep

 

Christian Finney

Today we woke up ate breakfast at the hotel and went to go sight see around Tokyo. Are mentor took us to a shop called ballaholic that’s similar to what we have ball is life.

 

Joshua Benjamin

Today was the least active day on the trip. We did not tavel very far or have games. We had lunch and dinner at shakey’s. We walked around the city a little and that’s pretty much it. Tomorrow we are going to Tokyo to sightsee for 3 days and then we are going home to Cali.

 

Group 4 (Ebony, Bryant & Chris)

 

 

 

Chris Obiekea

On Monday we went to Shakeys to meet with everyone else. We had a wonderful all you can eat buffet. After that some people caught a taxi back to the hotel and some walked. When we got to the hotel we rested in the lobby for a little and then some people decide to go " Mall hunting".

Well, we went for a 30 mile walk looking for a Mall, (we had no luck) At the end of this excessive walk we found out that there was one closer to our hotel. Which by the way was the same mall where we ate earlier. Uff... what a mess! So, we then decided to walk back to the hotel ( 30 miles back) and asked the rest of the people if they would want to come with us to the mall where we ate Shakeys earlier.

 

They all ended up coming to the mall except Coach Cooper. " I think he was pooped from the walk we did before finding out that we had a mall closer to us".

 

Anyways it was fun to wonder around after all.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday

Group 1 (Roman, Brandhon & David)

Group 2 (Austin, Ryan & Khristofer)

 

Austin Azarovitz

Today we didn’t do much except relaxing. We woke up this morning and got on the train to go to Fukuoka. There we went to Starbucks and then to Shakes pizza to meet up with everyone. Most people ate at the shakes but me, my mom, and Roman went to the best sushi place in the world. We all were thinking, if this is the best, this isn’t even a real bar. In Tokyo the sushi bar will go crazy! After we all ate we meet up at shakes and headed back to the hotel. Once everyone got settled in me, my mom, Ebony and Bryant and Chris’ family went on a walk to try to find a mall. With no luck we headed back and got some crab at the mall we ate the sushi at. Once we got back to the hotel me and Khris, strong man, played call of duty zombies and got up to round 16. After that game he took the ps4 and headed to his room. I got changed and got ready for bed. I am so tired. I don’t know if it’s cause of all the walking or the time difference whatever it is it is killing me. I hope I can sleep on the plain cause I am going to be dead tired. We leave for Tokyo tomorrow and then it’s the home stretch.

 

Group 3 (Christian, Joel & Josh)

 

Christian Finney

Today we just had breakfast at the hotel and went to a like Electronics district in Tokyo where they had all the electronics like gaming computers,  consoles and etc. It was fun being able to experience something like that but I didn’t  like that it decided to rain on the day we went.

 

 

Group 4 (Ebony, Bryant & Chris)

 

 

Chris Obiekea

On Tuesday I went down to eat breakfast before taking a flight back to Tokyo. After breakfast we went to the train station to go to the airport. " men you need to catch a train to go everywhere".

 

When we got off the plane we we caught a monorail (public transportation again) and after that a train to get to are Hotel. " we are becoming experts at riding in public transportation". Anyway a enjoyed the rides because the city is beautiful, " packed ... but beautiful". We got to the Hotel to check in and then went to eat. We found Yoshinoya (nothing like the one in USA ) but we decided to eat there.

 

After we finished eating, we looked around for a little bit. Then we went back to the hotel. We spent most of our day traveling today so we were all tired.

 

 

Wednesday

Group 1 (Roman, Brandhon & David)

Group 2 (Austin, Ryan & Khristofer)

 

Austin Azarovitz

Today we didn’t du much. All we did was travel. We woke up in the old rigidity hotel and took a bus and a train to the airport. There I had the best Roman I’ve ever had. We got on the plain for what felt like an hour and started the long walk. We walked from the airport to the tram to a buss to a train to the hotel. My feet were dead. Me and Roman went to some fried chicken restaurant and it was cool. We went back to the hotel and chilled. The guys found a TV on the 7th floor and hooked up for a while until the people had ya get off and watch the Japanese soccer game. Roman and everyone orders pizza and we split the share. After I changed and got ready to go to bed. Tonight there is no tv so it is about to get interesting. Very very interesting.

 

Ryan Haywood

Today, June 20th, we had to wake up early and decided that we were going to go shopping that day. So first we caught a train and went over to a bakery. After the bakery we had to wait until about 3:30 for our tour guide Shota to show so we went showing in this electronics area in Tokyo. After we went shopping for a little and still had more time a group of us went in a electronics store and played fortnite until 3:30. After we came back and took another train to a different place to go shopping called ballaholics. Then we took another train to go to a basketball clinic to help more kids. The kids enjoyed it and we had a good time. Then we went to go eat at a Denny’s which was again better than eating rice again for dinner. Then we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

 

Group 3 (Christian, Joel & Josh)

 

Christian Finney

Today we where able to sleep in which was great because I was really tired from all the traveling we where doing. The team and I worked a quick shot clinic at a school in Tokyo which was really fun. The kids loved the various drills we had them go through and they where excited to see me dunk and amuse them.

 

Group 4 (Ebony, Bryant & Chris)

 

Thursday

Group 1 (Roman, Brandhon & David)

Group 2 (Austin, Ryan & Khristofer)

 

Austin Azarovitz

Today we had big plans and not a lot of time to do them. We were going to have a game in the morning but the coach changed his mind last minute so we had to plan something else. So me, my mom, coach Cooper, Ebony, Chris, Khris, and Roman went to Disneyland Tokyo. It was an amazing experience. The only downfall to the trip was the two best rides were shut down. Pirates of a Caribbean, and space mountain. We got so unlucky. We went on as much as we could for the experience and got so many pictures as well. The best rides that I went on was splash mountain, the Buzz lightyear Astro Blaster, and star tours. Those were by far the best. After the trip there was over we walked to the train station and took that to our hotel. Then I decided to stay up pretty much all night long to prepare for the flight. I hope that I can sleep on the plain but only time will tell. I also got hungry and I got and me Josh and Khris walked to a family market or a off brand of 711. A while later, like an hour or two after I went to bed.

 

Ryan Haywood

Today, June 21st, we didn’t have to wake up early. We slept in until about 1. When we woke up the team went to Tokyo Disneyland besides Josh, David, and I. We stayed at the hotel all the day. At the hotel we just played video games all day and ordered food. We couldn’t leave the hotel at all so when we woke up we went to McDonald’s to get food before the rest of the team left. After McDonald’s we can back and didn’t eat again until about 6. At 6 we ordered dominos pizza. We ordered 2 dominos pizza which came out to be like $30. It was expensive and the boxes were small so we were still hungry. But we couldn’t leave the hotel until the rest of the team came back so we had to wait to get more food. When the rest of the team came back we went to family mart to get some snacks and drinks and then watched the World Cup games for the rest of the day until going to bed at about 4.

 

 

Group 3 (Christian, Joel & Josh)

 

Christian Finney

I was excited to wake up because we where going to Tokyo Disney. In order for us to get there we had to take a 20 min bus ride and a 30 min train ride. It was worth the wait though. Once we arrived it didn’t seem packed at all because their wasn’t anyone really in the line to purchase tickets so I thought we where going to be the only  people there and on top of that it was a weekday. Well I was wrong once we got through security there was ton of people, the lines where 30-50 mins long and one of their best rides was shut down due to improvements (space mountain). Overall it was a fun day experiencing disney in a different country and seeing how much different it is from the one we have in the U.S.

 

Joel Finney

Today we got up and went to Disney Land and spent the whole day there got on rides and did a Lil bit of shopping and came home it was a good experience going to Disney land in another country and seeing the difference between the one in the states and the one out here and the day before that we want shopping and went to a few stores and also worked another clinic came back and went to sleep

 

 

Group 4 (Ebony, Bryant & Chris)

 

Friday

Group 1 (Roman, Brandhon & David)

Group 2 (Austin, Ryan & Khristofer)

 

Austin Azarovitz

Today is our last day in Japan. We woke up really late like 11 am Japan time. We all stayed in the room waking up until like 12 and started to get ready. Once all of us were up we walked to McDonlads and ate breakfast. We did have to rush because we had to leave at 1. The train was an hour long and I stood for 100% of the time. I guess it was worth it because I was sitting for like 10 hours on the plane. On the plain I had orange chicken that was r good at all. All I ate was the rice and the ice cream. After the 10 hours we got off the train and headed home. I really had a fun experience with this trip. I enjoyed every bit of it. I took many pictures and got a few suveneors and I got a a whole memory of what happened and how I did it.

 

Group 3 (Christian, Joel & Josh)

Group 4 (Ebony, Bryant & Chris)

 

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