|“||Just you watch. Once I get into high school, I'll make sure the whole country learns my name at the Inter-High Tourney!||”|
—Kenji Natsume, to Juri
Kenji "Tobi" Natsume (夏目 健二, Natsume Kenji), is Kuzuryū High student who can play both Small Forward and Shooting Guard.
He's tatted in his right arm and always wear a black sleeve to cover most of them. He keeps the top section of his hair up in box braids, bantu knots and occasionally in cornrows. His hair is textured and voluminous when unbraided. His jersey number is 11 and wears 'Nike Air Jordan 13' sneakers.
He has a frank personality, which leads him to clash with his teammates, although somehow he may have a point. Despite this, it has its positive features, such as sharing some tips and tricks of the caliber of Yasuhara whenever necessary. He is a competitor and hates losing but has come to recognize that perhaps there is someone better than him. This changed behavior would ultimately be the key to leveling up in his game.
When he was young, his biological father who was a scaffolding constructor died due to an accident while working. His father was supportive of his love for basketball and planned on gifting him a basketball three days before his birthday. It was eventually discovered by his mother in his father's luggage and given to him. Since then, Kenji has held unto that basketball up to the current time.
His mother remarried and he has a sister named Juri whom he loves greatly and is very close to him. However, he is not on good terms with his stepfather whom often gets into fights with, which led to him being sent to Kanagawa where his aunt lives. He made a promise to Juri that she will see him in the Inter-high tournament. He realized the only way to do this was to become an official member of the Kuzu High Basketball Team.
At first, he was selfish because of too much confidence in his skills. He felt the need to become stronger individually for the team but later realized that he had been approaching things the wrong way. He has come to value teamwork along with the drive to get on top together with his teammates.
He is left-handed and excels in scoring. He is the focal point of the team's offense and has the majority of the team's points. He is primarily offensive minded, but is also an excellent defender and can carry the responsibility of shutting down the opposing team's best scorers. Sometimes he is involved in ball distribution. Because he can play the Small Forward and Shooting Guard position, he is considered a "Swingman".
Tobi can shoot but he is shown mostly attacking and driving the basket using his speed. He is excellent at penetrating defense because of his handles and variety of dribble moves. To shake off defenders, he tends to double clutch the ball during a layup.
According to the College team captain Natsume was practicing with, he has potential to build towards Zone, if he can properly harness his stress into "Energy". Zone is described as the balance between active thinking and game planning and instinctual play, allowing for the most optimal and quick decision making for a short period of time. Professionals can deliberately enter the zone.
- "Sensei take my expulsion away.... I want to take the Kuzu High Basketball Team to the Inter-High Tournament!!" - to Masayoshi Satsuki (Chapter 22)
- "So, Sensei what you said before... I somehow thought I knew the feeling but withstanding pain isn't suited for me after all." - to Masayoshi Satsuki (Chapter 22)
- "It's not like I said we had to play. Regardless of winning or lossing. Which is even more reason not to. There's nothing to talk about. The girls team that lost in the first round can't possibly campare to us. Can you really play a game without caring about winning or losing?" - to Madoka Yabuchi (Chapter 25)
- "I'd like to ask ya somethin'. Before I answer that. Coming from the perspective of a coach who raised a team to get to the Inter-High in just 3 years, does my team have no future?... Alright then. I've got a lot of responsibility. So if there's a 1% chance I'll be betting on it. And I will go to the top with them!" - to Sakamaki Yohito (Chapter 91)
- "That foolishness, that fixation all is abandoned. Everything will be settled with this game." - to himself (Chapter 120)
- "If this is rock bottom, then it can't get any worst. Which means that only way is up. I will rise with this team!!" - to Kuzuryū High (Chapter 121)
- "I never thought we'd meet again so soon. I was starting to get tired of waiting." - to Hyou Fuwa (Chapter 123)
- "If the opponent is strong, then stronger is what I shall become. We will not lose..!!" - to himself (Chapter 149)