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Sakuragi HanamichiEdit

Jersey no.#10 189.2cm/6'2"/75in 83kg/183lb Power Forward. Birthday 01/04 Shoe Brand: Nike Air Jordan 1 & 6

Hanamichi Sakuragi (桜木 花道, Sakuragi Hanamichi?) is the protagonist of Slam Dunk. At the beginning of the series, Sakuragi is a Delinquint with a bad temper and no talent for basketball who likes to headbutt people.He is the person with the record for getting shotdown by the most girls.

At first, Sakuragi was known for his jumping skills as a beginner and in his first few official games, he fouled out every game. However, his basketball skills advanced throughout the series. First he developed his basic skills, such as dribbling and passing. Then, trained by Akagi, he became a formidable rebounder, with his rebounding becoming his claim to fame throughout the latter half of the series. His jump shooting was then developed by Coach Anzai, who had him make 20,000 shots in a week. However, he also injured his back during the match against Sannoh after saving the ball from going off the court, and underwent rehabilitation after Shohoku's subsequent loss to Aiwa Academy. While considered by most to be an amateur's instinctual tactic, the tactic itself, coupled with Sakuragi's formidable athleticism actually goes well with his somewhat completely unorthodox playing style. This allows Sakuragi to be in the right place at the right time to intercept more experienced players.

In spite of the setbacks he has had to face, Sakuragi displays a great deal of tenacity and determination that carry him through and help reciprocate for his other failings, both on and off the court. Although his love for Haruko and rivalry with Rukawa are the main driving forces motivating him to succeed in basketball, his injury during the Sannoh match makes him realize that he has actually come to love the game, leading him to give his all for his team and bring them victory. He is voiced by Takeshi Kusao.


Rukawa KaedeEdit

Jersey no.#11 187cm/6'2"/74in 75kg/165lb Small Forward. Birthday 1/1 Shoe Brand: Air Jordan 5

Kaede Rukawa (流川 楓, Rukawa Kaede?) is Sakuragi's rival as well as almost his opposite; he is attractive to girls, skilled at basketball, and very cold and aloof, mostly unfeeling. The only time he is shown smiling throughout the course of the story is when he recognizes Sawakita's talent in their personal one-on-one inside the game between their teams. The only traits they share are that they are not academically inclined and good fighters. He regards Sakuragi as an idiot and both normally fight. Actually, he knows Sakuragi can put his talents to a better use, but is ashamed to see the immaturity with which he deals with things. His hobby is sleeping, and is usually seen asleep whenever he's not on the court; he can even ride his bike while asleep often crashing with objects when doing so. Waking Rukawa from a nap is considered unforgivable, since he will almost automatically beat up the culprit. Unsurprisingly, he has also been in his fair share of off-court fights, but can hold his own. Rukawa's goal is to be the best high school player in Japan, and he considers Sendoh of Ryonan to be his greatest rival. A fact being that he is often nicknamed the "super-rookie", the "ace of Shohoku", even.

Rukawa is extremely good at basketball, and possesses a wide range of skills to complement his height, athleticism and drive to win .He is not as good as Maki but despite being merely a first-year high school player, he is the undisputed ace of Shohoku's team. In the Kanagawa Interhigh Tournament, he was named one of the top five players, the only first year player so honored. He has managed to change the course of many games, such as when he single-handedly brought Shohoku back from a double-digit deficit against Kainan (Rukawa scored 15 straight points for Shohoku in 2 minutes and 5 seconds just before the end of the first half). However, his style was criticized as being too selfish, and he sometimes comes into conflict with his teammates for various reasons; this was one of the reasons why Coach Anzai refused to give him his blessing when Rukawa told him that he intended to go to the USA, and told him to become the best in Japan before he even thought of it. When he was outplayed by Sawakita during the match against Sannoh Technical, though, he realized what Sendoh reminded him as a challenge: To defeat Sendoh, Rukawa had to change his style and pass the ball. It was his pass that led to Hanamichi's buzzer-beating shot, winning the match. Rukawa is subsequently named a member of the All-Japan basketball team. He is voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa.

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