Pogie and Kio
Coming from Canada, Saskatchewan, Roland Biegler aka Pogie, former Global Content Consultant for Adidas in Asia has found home next to one of the most famous basketball playgrounds in Japan, Yoyogi courts. Back home in Canada, it’s winter for 9 to 10 months which gave him a little time during the summer to play outside. Here we are in Tokyo, in October or even November at 6:30 am and people are already warming up to play pickup for two to three hours before heading to work.
During the hot and humid Summer days in Japan, people get up early to do outside activities.The sun rises around 5am, and the temperature is already up to 25°C (80°F).
For the last six years, Pogie has been coming with his son, Kio, 17 years old every Tuesday and Thursday around 6:30am. Kio has joined the basketball program at the Tokyo British School. Knowing the team needed a coach and his dad had Coaching Certification back in Canada, he thought he would be a great fit for the program. Pogie accepted the challenge and after one season expanded his coaching and training skills to multiple teams in the program.
High school student, part-time worker during the weekend, Kio turned himslef as a morning person to come and train with his dad and friends before heading to school or work.
"Coming here helps me to get my mindset ready, plan my day and get ready to work."
Pogie is one of the well-known local hoopers here, he has seen generations of people come and go, some come back years later with a wife and kids, The Yoyogi ballers is a big family.
If you are not with a team or a club, it’s hard to get access to a basketball gym in Tokyo. Yoyogi is the melting point of Japan streetball, you got the 1964 Olympics sign right next to the playgrounds, people from all over the world have played here. The streetball culture is playing an important role for the kids here to relate to the international world.