Filed under: Art, Basketball, Bread City, History | Tags: Basketball Art, Basketball History
In 1942, over 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast were removed from their homes and placed in detention camps. Basketball was pretty much the only thing for kids to do, and it gave the older inmates something to watch. Organized games, under the guard of military police, were the social highpoint of the weekend. Even during the week crowds would show just to check out some kids running a pick-up game on makeshift courts.
Japanese prisoner basketball teams were sometimes allowed to compete with schools outside of the camps, allowing a rare glimpse into the outside world. Upon the dissolution of the camps in 1945, inmates were given $25 and a bus ticket. (GATE MONEY.) In 1988, reparations were paid out with a signed apology from Ronald Reagan on behalf of the American people. Today it’s estimated that 14,000 Japanese-Americans in Southern California play basketball regularly in clubs and weekend leagues.
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