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The Gaucho Gazette

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Tai Grant

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I am influenced by my older brother, who played basketball, and older brothers changed their younger brothers a lot. He played basketball, so I started playing basketball. I was born and raised in Japan; my family is still there. My whole life I went to school there, until now. The only reason for moving to a completely new country was because I wanted to play basketball. I want to play at a more competitive level than Japan. I’m not saying Japan is not good, but like if you look at the levels, the US is much better. I wanted to challenge myself.

   Coming to the US, I was pretty nervous. At home my dad is American, and my mom is Japanese, so when I was little, my dad would speak English to me. In Japan, we don’t learn how to fluently speak English but we learn grammar. So I am sort of fluent, but I am also still adapting to American culture. There are little things from home to school that are still jumping out and taking some time to adjust to. When you go into a house in Japan, you take off your shoes, that’s normal, but over here you don’t have to, so its kinda weird for me. And the school part, here it’s kinda free, you can do whatever you want. But in Japan there’s a class you have to go to everyday, that the teachers give you and that’s different, too. Also, the basketball players here are physically bigger and better in school, I didn’t know what to do. So I was not excited at all, I was really nervous.

   I’m looking to chase my passion for basketball further than high school, though. I want to finish high school here and then go to UCLA. UCLA is a good school for both academics and sports so it has everything I want. I’m looking forward to going there and I hope to one day play professionally.

   I’m going to a game when the season starts, so I’m really looking forward to that. My favorite pro basketball player is currently Steph Curry. I like his personality. Typically, NBA players show off a lot, but he doesn’t. He inspires me.

   Basketball is everything for me.

 

Interview and Photos by Tessa Hughes and Polly Parakul.

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Tai Grant