|“||You should first get a seat on the bench. You're not the only one who wants to get in the game.||”|
—Sakamaki Yohito, to Yozan Kamiki
Sakamaki Yohito (酒巻 呼人, Yohito Sakamaki) is the head coach of inter-high top challengers Yokohama Taiei High. Under his counsel, he has brought the team to the national level of competing in the inter-high within just 3 years.
Sakamaki is originally from Hiroshima Prefecture. He is an experienced coach who has taught basketball in many different schools in Japan, ranging from intermediate to high school teams. Prior to coaching, in his heydays of youth, Sakamaki has been a basketball player. During Kuzuryū High's first round match, Sakamaki elucidated to some of the Inter-High representatives that when he was a student, his team won a game by closing a 20 point lead in the final 10 minutes.
Role as Coach
Sakamaki is a strict coach. Under his guidance Yokohama Taiei High has become one of the top 5 teams in Kanagawa region. His goal is to make Yokohama Taiei Inter-High champions. Due to the recent success, many upcoming freshman are now joining the team. His practice sessions are extremely hard. Many of the rookies are unable to keep up, later end up dropping out. He tries to give every team member a chance especially in the practice matches. As in the game against Kuzuryū High, Sakamaki gave an opportunity to all first and second years of Yokohama Taiei to play.
He is always on a lookout for upcoming talent. After the Kuzu-High first round match, Sakamaki tried recruiting Kenji. Tobi later on kindly refused his offer.
- "Their eyes are still alive. Back when I was a student... We closed a 20 point gap in the last 10 minutes. Nobody knows what will happen in a game until the clock stops ticking." - to Inter-High District representatives (Chapter 81)
- "Oh, there you are. You're Kuzu-High's... Natsume-kun was it? Going home already? What's the Hurry? Do you have a minute? Let's talk." - to Kenji Natsume (Chapter 90)
- "Come join us. Yokohama Taiei High. We might be a public school but we participated in the Inter-High for the last two years. And I'm their coach. Sakamaki's my name. This is my fifth year there." - to Kenji Natsume (Chapter 90)
- "I'm Yokohama Taiei's coach Sakamaki.... I'm sure we will learn a lot." - to Masayoshi Satsuki (Chapter 116)
- "Nanao-san was it? I've been a coach for a long time. And no matter who the opponent was, I've never underestimated them. Not even once. This lineup was formed just to defeat Kuzu-High." - to Nao Nanao (Chapter 116)