SENDAI – Children in the northeastern Tohoku region of Japan hit by last year’s earthquake and tsunami received encouragement Tuesday in the form of an autographed basketball from NBA legend Michael Jordan.
The ball, which bears the hand-written message “To the Children of Tohoku Best Wishes Michael Jordan,” was presented in a ceremony at the Sendai city office.
“We are so happy that we have received an autographed ball from Mr. Jordan, the God of basketball,” said Sumire Adachi, a 17-year-old local high school student. “This is very encouraging.”
The former Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards guard had sent the ball to Miyagi Prefecture’s basketball governing body at the request of Nobuteru Maeda, the vocalist of popular Japanese band TUBE who is a close friend of Jordan’s.
TUBE is acting to support disaster recovery efforts in the country.
The Miyagi Basketball Association plans to display the ball at upcoming tournaments in the prefecture.