Tyler Kawamoto: Bouncing Back

Tyler Kawamoto playing basketball right before sophomore season.
Tyler Kawamoto playing basketball right before sophomore season.

Upon entering the gym, the audience and players press their hands over their mouths. They see Tyler Kawamoto on the ground holding his head as everyone stares right at him. This is what happened in Mid-Pacific’s gym last year. And for Kawamoto, it’s been a long period of recovery.

Coming back from an injury can be one of the hardest things for an athlete to do, especially from a major head injury. The physical and mental pain this causes is staggering, but Tyler Kawamoto didn’t let this hold him back.

The accident occurred early in the boy’s varsity basketball season.

“I went up for a layup but then one of the opposing players knocked me down. I blacked out. I couldn’t see anything,” Tyler said.

Everyone in the crown went dead silent. Not one word was said after he hit the ground.

“I thought he cracked his skull open. He hit the ground so hard,” junior Riley Miura said.

Kawamoto was immediately examined by Mid-Pacific’s athletic trainers. He then was sent to a hospital for further examination.

“I hit my head really hard, and it turns out I had a major concussion. I couldn’t come to school for a week. I couldn’t look at a screen for weeks,” Kawamoto said.

With concussion, Kawamoto was unable to do many physical activities resulting in deterioration both physically and mentally. To go from playing with the varsity team to being out for the rest of the season is tough for every athlete who loves their sport.

“I couldn’t play basketball until my doctor cleared me, which felt like a while. I missed playing with my teammates and I missed a lot of school so I couldn’t even talk to my friends,” Kawamoto said.

As Kawamoto missed school, he had to catch up on a lot of work while in recovery. He fell behind in many of his classes, making his academic recovery almost as difficult as his physical.

“I had to make up a lot of tests and classwork. Not a lot of work was exempt for me,” Kawamoto said.

But even through all these setbacks and hardships, he still managed to keep his grades up. He would also support his team every game, becoming the manager once he managed a recovery.

Today he has now fully recovered from his concussion and is back on the court to make a comeback. He is also back on the varsity team getting ready to start the season once again.

“I have been practicing a lot since, and I hope I can play better than I did last year,” Kawamoto said.

Teammates are happy for Kawamoto and can’t wait to see him in action again.

“I’m glad Tyler is back. Our team will be much better with him playing again,”Riley said.

Tyler plans to come back better than ever and hopes to play a full season and get good grades this year with no setbacks in his life.

“I wish to have just a normal year and play a full healthy season to finish off my junior year strong,” Tyler said.

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