Feb. 05, 2010
Coach Peter Heimer and Coach Rodney Ray
On January 29 and 30, 2010, SOIS hosted the inaugural Asia International School Association (AISA) boys basketball tournament. The Sabers team finished in second place, losing in an exciting final to Korea International School (KIS), 82 – 77.
The Sabers cruised through pool play, beating the German School of Tokyo/Yokohama 85 – 35 and Seoul International School 52 – 33, and then defeating Yokohama International School in the semifinals 54 – 35. Having won each of its first three games by an average of nearly 30 points, the Sabers had high hopes heading into the championship game. But KIS proved too tall inside and too deadly outside, and they held off a frantic Sabers rally at the end.
All-tournament players for the Sabers were seniors Shun Kanezaki and Naoto Takahashi, and junior Kho Roberts. In addition to Kanezaki and Takahashi, five other seniors played their final games as Sabers: Toshinori Matsuo, James Freijah, Carlos Esquivel, Shane Kennedy, and Ikkei Sakamoto. The coaches wish to congratulate and thank all seven seniors. The team has never had so many seniors on the team and their talent and leadership will be sorely missed next year. Kanezaki, Takahashi and Freijah were team captains.
Other players on the AISA tournament team were Hideaki Ametani, Daniel Kellett, James Trew and Min Joon Choi. These four players and Roberts will form the nucleus of next year’s team and the team is already looking forward to the next season.
The 2009-10 basketball season was a successful one, with the varsity Sabers posting 14 wins and 8 losses. The junior varsity team capped its season with a well-deserved tournament championship in Yokohama on January 23 – an exciting moment for the younger players and one that will motivate them as they prepare for varsity action next year.
There are many people to thank. Most of all, thank you, players, for your determined effort throughout the season. Your ability to balance basketball with your academic, music and family commitments is an inspiration to your coaches, teachers and classmates. The seniors leave with very high basketball IQs and will continue to be successful on basketball courts somewhere. Thank you, parents, for allowing your son to play basketball, and for raising such fine young men. We have a saying that character off the court counts more than points on the court; the 2010 Sabers showed great character and that comes from their parents.
Special thanks goes to Rodney Ray, assistant coach, strategy mastermind, team photographer and personal confidant throughout the long, grueling season. Wakako Tameoka, SIS senior, finished her Sabers career as the first in team history to serve all four high school years as manager. Miyu Sakaime, Nahoko Shinomiya and Ruru Najar also served as team managers. Wakako, Miyu, Nahoko and Ruru put in over 120 hours of service to the team and they deserve much recognition. Thank you to the girls of the Sabers Sports Council who were flawless experts at the score table all season long.
Thanks also goes to Activities Director Simon Parker and the Sabers girls coaches, Jim Schell and Sam Adams, for their cooperation and help. Finally, thank you faculty and administration for your support and recognition. Go Sabers!