|“||If you make fun of me being small... You'll have to pay for it||”|
—Sora Kurumatani, to Shinmaruko High
Sora Kurumatani (車谷 空, Kurumatani Sora) is a first-year shooting guard who plays for Kuzuryū High. He later transitioned into the team’s starting point guard, although still playing shooting guard from time to time. He is the main protagonist of the anime and manga series, Ahiru no Sora.
Sora is short in height, about 150 cm. He has unruly medium length dark hair and corresponding eyes. Besides, his jersey number is 15. At the start of the series, he wore 'ASICS Japan Pro' sneakers that belonged to his mother. He later switched to 'Nike Air Zoom Flight 5' and then 'Nike Air Zoom Brave 3' sneakers.
Kurumatani is a friendly individual who always has a smile on his face. Due to his constant enthusiasm and determination in playing basketball, Sora was able to revive the boys’ basketball team of Kuzuryū High that had been dormant for a while. He was also able to get the Hanazono brothers, who stopped playing basketball since junior high, to join the club.
In his middle school days, Sora was unable to play in any official games due to his small stature. Nonetheless, his mother was there as his primary supporter. Growing up, his mother would often remind him to not give up. His mother also encouraged him to use his height to his advantage. When his team Kuzuryū High, got a chance to play their first practice game against Shinmaruko High, Sora got excited and relished the opportunity to compete.
Sora is originally from Nagano Prefecture. His mother, Yuka, a former All-Japan basketball player, and his father, Tomohisa, runs a farm in Nagano. After graduating from junior high, Sora enrolled at Kuzuryū High to stay close to his mother. At that time, his mother was hospitalized in the Kanagawa National Hospital because of her critical illness. He currently resides at his grandmother's residence. His grandmother, Yone, manages a barbershop in Kawasaki. When Sora was about to leave Nagano, he was not on speaking terms with his mother. Because of this, Yuka didn't know that Sora had moved. However, when Yune visited Yuna at the hospital, Yune accidentally informed Yuka about it.
During the series 1st Inter-High District Qualifiers, Yuka's condition worsened, leading to her death. To cope with his grief, Sora went back to Nagano for a brief period. After that, he returned to Kawasaki to continue playing basketball at Kuzuryū High. Although being a great basketball player, Sora is an average student at school with his grades barely above passing marks.
Sora is an excellent shooting guard. His specialty is one-handed three-point shot, but in the practice match against Shinmaruko High, he demonstrated 'female-style two-handed shot,' a technique he learned from his mother. Also, he can shoot better from the right side of the three-point line. When Tokiwa successfully exploited his weakness with shooting from the left side, Sora worked hard to improve his shooting skills from that side. According to Chiaki, Kurumatani has exceptional deep court vision, a requirement for a great shooting guard. He has good handles, and these skills compensate for his lack of height. His usual position is shooting guard, but he can still play point guard when the team needs him. Sora is a great defender, as shown in the practice game with Kitasumi High. During that match, Kurumatani successfully defended against Tarou the entire game.
- The name Sora means "sky, azure, atmosphere."
- Sora's surname Kurumatani means "car" (車) (kuruma) and "valley" (谷) (tani).
- "These are my wings." - to Chiaki Hanazono (Chapter 1)
- "It doesn't matter how many people I'm facing... I'll never run away." - to Chiaki Hanazono (Chapter 1)
- "Let's play basketball. Momoharu-kun... It's a promise! I will be waiting!" - to Momoharu Hanazono (Chapter 2)
- "Once I get into the basketball team... From today on, I think I'll be able to practice as much as I want!!" - to himself (Chapter 3)
- "You gotta show me that move again!! How does it feel to Fly?" - to Momoharu Hanazono (Chapter 4)
- "Every person has their own way of shooting. Depending on their personality. I think Momoharu-kun's form is good, not rough at all." - to Momoharu Hanazono (Chapter 5)
- "I always shoot the ball in order for the ball to go in... For example, when you shoot is there anything to look out for?" - to Momoharu Hanazono (Chapter 5)
- "We want to become stronger than we were yesterday." - to Kaname Shigeyoshi (Chapter 114)
- "What I can do right now... Is pour my body and soul into this single one shot." - to himself (Chapter 119)
- "It's not over. Like hell it's over! Nothing... Nothing has even started yet. How could we let it end without doing a single thing about it!!" - to himself (Chapter 138)