Ramu Tokashiki, the Japan women’s national basketball team’s top player, has a torn ACL in her right knee her team, Eneos Sunflowers, announced on Saturday.
The 193-cm center/forward suffered the injury during Eneos’ 78-59 win over the Fujitsu Red Wave in the quarterfinals of the All-Japan Championship at Yoyogi National Gymnasium No. 2 on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old Tokashiki is without question the nation’s best player and had been expected to be a key component of the national team at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
The injury deals a major blow to Japan’s chances of winning gold on home soil next year. The Akatsuki Five was already without another key player as Haneda Vickies point guard Nako Motohashi injured her ACL during a training camp in November.
“I’m full of disappointment after finding out the extent of my injury, but I would like to do my best so I won’t waste a single day with the goal of getting back to the game that I love,” Tokashiki, who played for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA and is a seven-time Women’s Japan Basketball League MVP, said in a statement.
Tokashiki, a two-time MVP at the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, is averaging a league-high 21.0 points and 10.7 rebounds during the 2020-21 WJBL season.
Despite the injury, the Saitama Prefecture native was on the Sunflowers bench for the team’s semifinal game against Denso Iris at the All-Japan tourney on Saturday.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.