Wataru Misaka was a Japanese-American athlete who played for the New York Knicks in the 1947-1948 season. Misaka was the first Asian player to play in the NBA.
Wataru was born in Salt Lake City of Utah in 1923. The former athlete was a star basketball player at the University of Utah. Misaka made history as he was the first player of Asian culture to play in the NBA.
Despite his short run, Misaka cleared the door for players from various backgrounds for the future and laid down a blueprint for new athletes. The former NBA athlete motivated generations of Asian Americans to play basketball.
The Japanese player received recognition for his sports contributions when he was invited into the Japanese American National Museum Hall of Fame in 2004. The NBA professional faced a knee injury after successfully playing three seasons for the Rochester Royals. The injury ended his career in the NBA.
Bering the first one to represent Asia in the NBA, Wataru has a section dedicated to him in the Japanese American National Museum in L.A. Furthermore, a documentary film on the life and playing career of the hall of fame has been made named ' Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story'.
Misaka significantly influenced the NBA and basketball during his time on the court. He represented the American Dream and proved that anyone could participate in and excel in the sport, whatever their background. The Hall of Famer passed away in 2019 at 95, yet his influence as an NBA pioneer is still felt today.