Mitsuyoshi Anzai

White-Haired Buddha, Demon
The coach of the Shohoku High basketball team and one of the best ones in Japan. Even the coaches of other teams call him Anzaisensei with respect. His calm and collected attitude contrasts with the temper he had in the past when he was nicknameed WhiteHaired Devil as a demanding college coach. A talented player Ryuji Yazawa trained under him and was eyed with high regard by Anzai. However Yazawa was unhappy about Anzais tough training for him especially the repetitive and strenuous basic technique training and against the Coachs wish left Japan to play in the USA where he thought he would have better opportunities to show his talent. 5 years passed without any news other than an unaddressed video tape showing Yazawa playing in a team whose players had virtually no concepts of teamwork. One day Anzai learned from the press that Yazawa died in a highspeed headon car collision reportedly under drug influence. While visiting Yazawas grave Yazawas mother gave Anzai a letter written 4 years prior which Yazawa never had the courage to post back. In the letter Yazawa expressed profound regret about his rebellious decision to leave and the depression from his experience in the unsupportive American college basketball career. Anzai grieved deeply for the loss of Yazawa and resigned from college basketball coaching ever since. This also changed Anzais former strict attitude to his now mild temper for which he is now known as the WhiteHaired Buddha. Sakuragi always calls Coach Anzai Oyaji old man and has the habit of jiggling his fat when hyped which makes the others Mitsui in particular mad at him as this is considered disrespectful. Anzai however appears to tolerate this and has not reprimanded Sakuragi for his behavior. However Anzai did punish the four players Mitsui Miyagi Sakuragi and Rukawa involved in the fight against Mitsuis gang by initially benching them during the first interhigh tournament match against Miuradai High School. However behind such an impassible demeanor is a brilliant strategist who always knows how to turn the tide of a match for his team. Anzai like Haruko Akagi realized Sakuragis potential early on and decided to make him a starter even though some of his basketball skills were not yet par. Recognizing that shooting was Sakuragis weakness he made him make 20000 baskets in a week to get ready for the national tournament. Anzai is also very charismatic and able to inspire his players to greater heights as evidenced before the match against Sannoh where he managed to bring down the insecurity within Miyagi Mitsui and to a lesser extent Sakuragi. Although they were directly recruited by Coach Moichi Taoka of Ryonan both Mitsui and Ryota turned him down citing Anzais presence at Shohoku as the primary factor. Mitsui respects Anzai the most and once put a picture of him on the bench and prayed to it when Anzai was unable to come to the interhigh ShohokuRyonan match due to heart attack. Source: Wikipedia