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Alumnus Takeo Ichiyanagi applies UofSC lessons to role as head athletic trainer for Japan’s Men’s National Basketball team

Originally from a small town in Japan, Takeo Ichiyanagi moved to the United States after high school, seeking the study abroad experience. He ended up staying for 15 years, amassing the knowledge and skills that would eventually land him the position of head athletic trainer for Japan’s Men’s Basketball National team.

Ichiyanagi already knew he wanted to study athletic training and enrolled in The University of Alabama’s undergraduate program where he met then-doctoral student Toni Torres-McGehee. Following his 2007 graduation, he moved North to intern with the New York Jets. 

As the internship wrapped, Torres-McGehee, who had completed her Ph.D. program and accepted a faculty appointment at UofSC, recruited Ichiyanagi to enroll in her department’s master’s program while gaining experience as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for the USC football team. He was drawn to the clinical opportunity to work with an SEC team and returned to the South.

“Takeo exceeded expectations in our program. He was an outstanding preceptor to our undergraduate athletic training students; he was strong clinically; he understood the value of communication and networking, and most importantly he was pleasant to be around and made people laugh,” says Torres-McGehee, who joined the Arnold School’s Department of Exercise Science when the athletic training program transitioned to it from the College of Education in 2016. “We are excited that he is able to use his skills as an athletic trainer in conjunction with physical therapy to provide the best patient care to his professional athletes.”

Between the first and second years of his program, Ichiyanagi interned with another NFL team. Working with the Arizona Cardinals, he met physical therapist Brett Fischer, who inspired the athletic trainer to consider a degree in the field. After completing the necessary prerequisites, Ichiyanagi enrolled in the Arnold School’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program (also housed within the exercise science department). With support from Torres-McGehee, he had a graduate assistantship with campus recreation.  Read the full article here.

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