Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story

In 1947, Japanese American basketball player Wat Misaka was the first person of color to be drafted into the NBA. Overcoming the discrimination towards Nisei during World War II, he became a star player at the University of Utah in the mid ‘40s, before taking two years off to serve in the US Army.During this same period, Wat’s fellow Nisei were uprooted from their homes and moved to internment camps. Wat became a personal hero to his fellow Japanese Americans, and to sports enthusiasts everywhere. Despite the prejudices of the time, he inspired fierce loyalty from his teammates, and his accomplishments on the basketball court coupled with his personal magnetism were an inspiration to all.
Transcending uses video clips from Wat’s college games and his triumphant career, as well as rare footage of the Topaz Internment Camp to tell the story of a complicated chapter in US history.


Chicago Asian American Showcase, 2010
Honolulu International Film Festival, 2009
San Diego Asian Film Festival, 2009



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