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Our Core Principles

Our core principles are to foster good sportsmanship, solid basketball fundamentals, self-confidence in our players, and promote lasting lifetime friendships.

Our History

The concept of starting a basketball organization from the San Jose area was started by Tom Kinoshita in the summer of 1980. He talked with Jim Kotsubo about his idea. Both of them had played for the San Jose Zebras in the 1950’s so they approached Herman Santo of the Zebras to brainstorm this idea. He suggested that they form another all star team from this area since there were so many good players in the area. They had their first meeting at Azuma’s Restaurant and discussed the many ways they could start this organization. As they began to put their plans in motion, Dr. Ken Sakoda came up with the name “Ninja”. It was chosen because of the popularity of the movie Shogun. The uniform color of black was chosen because of the Ninja outfit. Linda Inouye created the original logo.

To get the organization started, the initial funding came from Larry Dobashi, Roy Fukumura, Mel Inouye, Shig Inouye, Tom Kinoshita, Al Kogura, Jim Kotsubo, Dennis Mitome, Ko Nishimura, Geo Sakamoto, Ken Sakamoto, Ken Sakoda and Shig Shimada. The first Ninja tournament was held on April 10 and 11, 1982 and Jim Kotsubo was the first tournament chairman. The organization has grown to 14 teams and is a large part of the San Jose community. We will always be grateful to the founders of the organization, but especially to Tom Kinoshita who is responsible for the idea of forming the Ninja organization.

2017-2018 Board Members

  • Tim Byun & Kevin Kawano, Co-Presidents
  • President-Elect,
  • Michelle Scilingo, Secretary
  • Tim Byun, Treasurer
  • Andy Namba, Girls Commissioner
  • Kevin Kawano, Boys Commissioner
  • Kari Dobashi-Barton, Tournament Coordinator
  • Lance Uyehara, Tournament Director
  • Andy Namba, Girls Tournament Director
  • Keith Morikawa, Boys Tournament Director
  • Bruce Shimabukuro, Historian
  • Jeff Minamide, Past President
  • Dean Kobashigawa, Member at Large

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Copyright 2017 San Jose Ninja Youth Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

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