WATCH: Kobe Bryant Fan Naomi Osaka Shows Off Her Excellent Basketball Skills

Published 12/15/2020, 11:23 PM EST
Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates with the championship trophy after her match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (not pictured) in the women’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. |REUTERS


The Japanese female tennis professional Naomi Osaka has often expressed her love for basketball. But whether she could play the sport herself had never been specified. Now, the World No. 3 has shared a video that gives some clarity on this.

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The former World No. 1 is regarded as one of the biggest assets for tennis’ future. At 23, she has won three Grand Slam titles and became the first Asian player to win one. The reigning US Open champion has now shown that her interests are not limited to tennis.

Naomi Osaka and her love for basketball

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Naomi Osaka of Japan hits the ball against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the women’s singles final match on day 13 of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports | Credits: Reuters

Residing in the States since she was three-years-old, Osaka picked up the famous American sport of basketball. The Japanese-born is a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan, and she was close to the late American basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

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During a Q&As with fans on Instagram, Naomi faced a question regarding her basketball skills. In response to this, she posted a video of herself where she made it clear that she was no stranger to playing basketball.

Getting involved in basketball culture comes naturally to every American. Even though she inherited Haitian and Japanese culture from her parents, Osaka did not mind immersing herself in a third culture.

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Currently, Naomi is working hard to regain the top place once again in WTA Rankings. In 2020, she failed to defend her title in Australia but will look to change the results next season. With her natural ability to hit the ball hard, the 23 years-old has managed to become one of the fastest servers in WTA history.

Osaka will start the 2021 season at the Australian Open

Sep 12 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan reaches for a backhand against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (not pictured) in the women’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports | Credits: Reuters

Interestingly, the Japanese player has won a Grand Slam title in each year since 2018. Therefore, it becomes only natural to expect great results from her. However, the real challenge for players is competing in pandemic-induced conditions.

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Naomi did not continue her 2020 season after her second US Open glory; she will resume play in Australia. Along with sharing interesting stories of her life, the World No. 3 is getting ready for Melbourne Park.

How many major titles will the Japanese bag in the next season?

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Purav Joshi

818 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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