Ed Odeven Reporting

Wat_Misaka Wat Misaka in 1948. PUBLIC DOMAIN

This article appears in the Dec. 29, 2018, edition of The Japan Times.

By Ed Odeven

Wataru “Wat” Misaka never demanded the spotlight nor shouted from the roof tops seeking attention.

But the reserved, humble man gained a measure of fame late in life when a documentary, “Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story,” was released in 2008. As a result, younger generations were introduced to his story, while older folks, many who never heard about him, were also thoroughly informed about Misaka’s place in history.

A successful college basketball player, Misaka’s pro career took place in the 1940s, the latter occurring before the NBA even existed.

A nisei (or second-generation Japanese immigrant), he became the first non-white player in the Basketball Association of America in 1947. The BAA was one of the NBA’s two forerunners along with the National Basketball League before the new league…

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