Assistant Athletic Trainer
AAPI ancestry/background: Japanese. Masahiro was born in Fukushima and came to the US (first to North Carolina) in 2004 to further his career in sports medicine.
What he does for the Commanders: As the team's assistant athletic trainer, Masahiro is in charge of providing and coordinating all kinds of health care services for players, coaches, support and so many others within our organization. Much of his work focuses on treating and preventing injury and illness, promoting wellness and developing rehab and physical therapy programs.
His favorite Japanese traditions: "A lot of stuff, but one of my favorite things in Japan was getting the whole extended family together and spending a couple days together during the New Year. New Years celebrations in Japan is like Thanksgiving in the US. I've definitely been missing that since living here, but the good thing is we still have FaceTime and Skype and everything."
How his Japanese heritage has shaped who he is: "This is something we don't really think about on a daily basis maybe, but I think it's important. Japan is an island and because of the geographic location, we have had and are prone to significant natural disasters – tsunamis, earthquakes, typhoons, those things usually happen every year in some capacity. That history I think has shaped my personality. I'm not super reactive to stress, and I try to only control what I can control and be patient. I also feel like I work well with people. Again, in huge natural disasters, you can't really do anything just by yourself, so you have to work together with your friends, your family, your community. And when you overcome things like that, it shows you how strong you are."
What AAPI Heritage Month means to him: "I only recently learned about AAPI Heritage Month actually, but I really appreciate how far our community has come and the contributions we've made. A lot of Asian flavors have been mixed in with our current American culture in so many different aspects."
Favorite quote/mantra: "Teamwork makes the dreamwork" and "Control the controllables"