Nanaya Miki helps take women’s basketball to new heights
By Courtnie Martin, Sports Reporter
Just one of a handful of PACWEST international players, Nanaya Miki has made a name for herself more than 4,500 miles away from home. Born in Osaka, Japan, Miki has played basketball for as long as she can remember. It was always her dream to venture off into the world and explore her passion.
Leaving her home to pursue post-secondary education in a foreign country, she found herself in Washington, where she played for Skagit Valley Community College. After a gruelling transition of adapting to both a new language and teammates, her efforts paid off. Skagit hosted an annual holiday tournament that would change her life drastically. In the championship game of the tournament, Skagit faced Douglas College. The game was intense, and at the end of the 40-minute mark Douglas came out on top to win by one point, but Miki was the real winner.
Miki found herself intrigued with yet another country and the opportunity to continue furthering her education. Douglas College welcomed her in the summer of 2013. She taught her new team her Japanese traditions while her new Canadian family taught her theirs. She quickly grew a strong relationship with her teammates.
“I would say Nay is one of the kindest, most honest, and loyal people I have ever come across. She is always motivating her teammates, but is strong and not afraid to speak her mind. She constantly checks up on me and is a great teammate and friend—not to mention she is hilarious and it’s fun to see her goofy side,” says first-year player Amber Beasley.
Miki instantly made a huge impact on the program. Her vivacious will-power and phenomenal athleticism on the court leaves the crowd and opponents respecting her talent. Coming off the bench, Miki contributed as many as 21 points in a single game for Douglas this season.
The fifth-seeded Royals came into Provincials after a clutch win against Langara College, where they were do-or-die and blew out their competitor. Miki, of course, was instrumental in helping to secure a Provincial berth for the Royals. Going into playoffs, Douglas faced Capilano University where Miki had an electrifying 21 points and was named player of the game. She continued to impress in the next game as she put up 19 points against the #1 seed, the Vancouver Island University Mariners, to lead the Royals to a huge upset in overtime. Although the Royals ultimately lost in the final to Quest, Miki made the Tournament All-Star team and can certainly be proud of her efforts.
Miki lives by the Japanese quote, “Kumo no munou ha itumo aozora,” which translates to, “There is always light behind the clouds.”