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Golden Kings players meet public; solicit relief donations

Date Posted: 2011-03-24

Less than two weeks after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan, members of Okinawa’s professional basketball team have turned from the hardwood to the tile floors of Aeon stores to appeal for relief assistance for victims.

The Ryukyu Golden Kings head coach, Dai Oketani, and five of his team, are visiting Aeon department stores and MaxValu supermarkets to encourage shoppers to donate money for relief efforts. At the Aeon Naha department store in Oroku, Naoto Kosuge remembered his experience in an earlier earthquake.

Speaking of the Niigata Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake, Kosuge said “this time, there were problems because of the tsunami and the damaged nuclear power plant. It’s more serious than what I experienced.” The veteran player says “I pray that people who are suffering will be able to soon feel good.”

Yuuki Shimoji, who donated a bag of coins at the Golden Kings post at the Oroku store, says “I hope everything becomes okay in mainland Japan, because my favorite player belongs to the Sendai team.” Sendai has withdrawn from Basketball Japan League play for the remainder of the season due to the devastation.

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