Hustle and Heart Set Us Apart

Riki Eijima, 12th Grade

Lowell High School Girls Basketball brings to my mind, “Hustle and Heart Set Us Apart.” This catchy slogan on our team T-shirts comes from the Junior Varsity (JV) coach, Christine Hosoda. Coach Hosoda instills in her students and players the meaning of hard work, teamwork, and community. Furthermore, she demonstrates strong volunteerism and inspires me to do the same. As a physical education teacher, Coach works well with students of all skill levels and prepares them for healthy lives. She also cares about her student-athletes’ grades and team morale, and shows compassion beyond our time on JV and even at Lowell.

I first met Ms. Hosoda during basketball conditioning; my life was changed for the best. She gently impressed upon us, “It does not matter whether you are recognized for your accomplishments, but rather that you are aware of your achievement and know that you gave it your best effort.” However, I believe Ms. Hosoda deserves the gold because of the impact she has had and has on so many young women.

The first Olympic Games I can vividly remember is when USA gymnast, Nastia Liukin, won the All-Around at the 2008 Beijing Games. Nastia’s clean lines and diligent work ethic helped her earn this award. Even though the Chinese gymnasts and Shawn Johnson were favored to win, Nastia stayed focused on her goal, performing with grace and poise. Ms. Hosoda possesses these characteristics. Like Nastia, Ms. Hosoda quietly and effectively gets the job done with outstanding results. First one in the gym, early in the morning, she is also the last one out after she closes up and sees the last players off. She once stayed after practice to talk with me about what was going on in my personal life and soon, two hours had passed. Christine Hosoda always places the needs of others before her own.

The Olympic gold medal, the highest athletic accolade, symbolizes personal achievement and success in representing one’s country. Ms. Hosoda’s student-athletes go on to make a difference in our communities and country, and they receive awards and recognition. Undoubtedly, Ms. Hosoda helped them reach these heights, and it would be appropriate to recognize her at this time.

Because of her modesty, I would employ the act of surprise in bestowing the honor. She is a die-hard Warriors fan, and I can only imagine the look on her face if her favorite player, Draymond Green, were to present this distinction during a Warriors halftime show. #23 (Green) epitomizes hustle and heart. Coach Hosoda would not know what hit her!

Ms. Hosoda has not only helped me become a better basketball player, but she instills Japanese American values including the importance of family and showing gratitude. She encourages me to delve into opportunities in the Japanese American community, and her coaching style allows each player to develop into leaders. I would not have developed into a confident leader were it not for Ms. Hosoda. おかげさまで。Because of you, I am.