"My Japanese name is Shinsaku Enomoto.” But in Tucson, you might recognize him as Isaiah Murphy.
“Shinsaku is my middle name and Enomoto is my mom's maiden name, and I just used that, those 2 names for the team.”
Murphy, born in Okinawa, Japan had lived a few years overseas. He now plays basketball at Pima Community College....and with the NBA developing its talent in the Summer League in Las Vegas, Murphy, or...Enomoto, developed his talents with the International Basketball Federation, or FIBA, and Japan’s under 19 team in Cairo, Egypt this summer.
“A chance to represent you're country doing something you love, it's in explainable,” says Murphy.
So how did a guy from Tucson end of playing for Japan in Cairo? Well, just ask mom.
“My mom and some of her friends knew some people in Japan. I had made a high school highlight reel and she sent it out.”
Murphy impressed the Japan Basketball Association, and after an invite to their camp in Tokyo, Murphy soon found himself on his way to meet his new teammates.
“It was such a big event. I hadn't realized how big it was until I got there and you see all the teams. You see USA, you see Puerto Rico,” says Murphy.
Japan lost to Canada in the World Championships, who went on to the final round. But Murphy is hoping to take his experience playing for his country, and translate that to another successful season at Pima.
“We're coming off a real good season last year, we're just looking to do more this year. We know we have a really good team.”