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You’ll Have A Hard Time Finding A Cooler Basketball Story Than This One

Masato Nakamura could become a basketball folk hero

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Michigan State
 Dec 3, 2019; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo and Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski shake hands at mid court during the second half of a game at Breslin Center. 
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve always liked Tom Izzo. He might be our second favorite coach behind Coach K. He seems very down to earth and his players seem to both like and respect him.

Even so, we never expected a story like this: a Japanese guy fell in love with the game and formed a plan to come to the US and ask a coach for instruction.

He picked Michigan State and Izzo for his plan, and Izzo was totally cool with it.

Masato Nakamura stood outside the Breslin Center and when Izzo found out about it he invited him in.

Nakamura got to watch practice, ask Izzo questions personally, go to film sessions and then shoot around.

He had a nosebleed seat and ended up behind the Michigan State bench, courtesy of Izzo.

We respect Izzo a lot for having the kindness to indulge this guy and to offer support to his dream of becoming a coach.

And how can you not respect Nakamura for having the gumption to just show up and ask and then be invited in? The guy has a dream and he was willing to move to another country and from there he took another major step towards making it come true. That’s just so cool. he’s going to get job offers out of this.

We really think the world of Izzo for doing all that he did to help.