For the majority of the players in the 2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup, the tournament is their way to represent their home country. But for one player, it is his way to find home.
Twenty-nine year-old Tatsuhito Noro was first introduced to his mother, Alma Miwa, eight years ago in Nagoya, Japan.
However, last December, Miwa had to come back home. She was recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor.
Noro had to find a way to meet his mother again.
The Japanese 3×3 team had a spot open for the 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup, after Shuta Hara backed out at the last minute. Noro took this as an opportunity to be with his mother again.
“This was my biggest goal, to make it here and be on the national team,” shared Noro, through a translator. “I made the team at the last moment and I’m happy to play in from of my mother and grandmother (Cely Miranda).”
Noro’s friends Tanaka and Kazuo, both upstart comedians in the Philippines, made sure Miwa and Miranda had a chance to watch Noro live for the first time.
“Nung nakita ko anak ko, nawala yung mga sama ng loob ko,” an emotional Miwa confessed.
“Sobrang saya ko na napanood ko ang anak ko at nakita ng lola niya ang apo niya.”
Despite Japan being booted out of the tournament, Noro still comes out of the tournament as a winner. Now, he can be with his mother when she needs her the most.
“Last time I saw her was a year ago. Playing basketball and going to different places led me to her,” he expressed.
“That is one of the biggest things for me.
“Basketball always connects people, and that includes me and my mother. I’m really thankful to basketball,” the 92nd ranked 3×3 player in the world added.
Noro has found his home. And he vows to never leave her again.