Tokyo and LA Share a Passion for Wheelchair Basketball


Renshi Chokai is a member of the Japanese national wheelchair basketball team.



At just 22 years old, he is a young warrior with polished chair skills and remarkable speed. While leading the team as his second Paralympic Games in his home country.



While training with a club in Kanagawa Prefecture, he also makes active appearances in the media to promote his sport.  Just before the training camp for the Tokyo Games, we spoke with him about the meaning of having the Paralympic Games and his blueprint for LA28.


                     Below is a short interview with Renshi Chokai.


The fascination of wheelchair basketball


Wheelchair basketball has many elements that are not found in regular basketball, such as the wheelchair maneuvering and its unique movements, and the strategies associated with it. I find the scoring that comes from the intensity and teamwork to be really fascinating.


Obstacles and lessons learned in the process of becoming a top player


At first, it was difficult for me to reach the ring with my shot, or even to pedal my wheelchair straight. However, by building up my basic training and reaching my goals step by step, I was able to grow into a top athlete. First of all, trying everything is essential, and if I fail, I would figure out a way to succeed. I also try not to forget to have fun, which is the root of everything.


What LA means for him


For me, LA is the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and the team's legend, Kobe Bryant. His signature move, the fake to fadeaway, and his many other playing skills have helped him grow as a player, and his Mamba mentality is also a great inspiration to me. I think the reason why Kobe was respected as a player and earned a great deal of admiration was because he was more dedicated to basketball than anyone else.


Sports environment in LA



Wheelchair basketball in Japan is still in the minority and underdeveloped. However, when I played in the U.S. in the past, I felt that the vibe and passion radiating from the LA crowd and the players from other countries was filled with a heat that I had never experienced in Japan. I believe that the sports scene in LA has a distinctive energy that cannot be found in Japan.



Excitement for LA28


At the Tokyo Paralympics, I aim to win a medal, and I want to give back to the people who have supported us till here. After that, I would like to challenge international leagues and polish my strength and competitive spirit. I will also make every effort to mature as a person in order to support younger players for the Los Angeles Games, where I will take part as a veteran player.