Friday, April 2, 2010
There is a good feature story in Sports Illustrated about the Champion Utah basketball team during World War II. It features Wat Misaka, one of the stars of the team and the challenges he had to face by being Japanese American while the US fought Japan in the war. After Wat graduated from Utah he was a first round draft choice of the New Your Knicks. Another Japanese American Tut Tatsuno joined the Utah basketball team after being removed from his home in San Francisco and held at the Topaz concentration camp.
ESPN also did a short video feature about the Santa Anita race track which served as a temporary detention facility that held nearly 20,000 Japanese Americans during the war. The ESPN film crew was at Santa Anita doing background work for the upcoming Breeders Cup when they came across a group of Japanese Americans who had been incarcerated at Santa Anita. The ESPN crew interviewed a few of these former inmates and also interviewed Cory Nakatani, a top jockey at Santa Anita whose grandfather was incarcerated at Santa Anita.