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Eiji Sawakita
Gender Male.png Male
Birthday October 7
Height 189 cm (6'2)
Weight 77 Kg (170lbs)
Hair Color black
Eye Color brown
Professional Status
Team Sannoh Industry Affiliated High School
Position Small Forward
Jersey Number # 9
Personal Status
First Appearance
English Voice {{{english voice}}}
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Eiji Sawakita (沢北栄治 Sawakita Eiji) is considered Japan's # 1 High School Player, and is the ace of Sannoh.



Unlike many other characters who are extremely skilled as he is, he presents a goofy attitude sometimes, and has comical moments of extreme shock when an opponent does something unexpectedly impressive. It was known that he's a high profile player like Rukawa and has various fangirls that send him fan mails. His teammate; Masashi, on the other hand, has none and is jealous of him to the point that he will grip Sawakita's legs and make him cry out in pain.



Eiji Sawakita is the best all-round player in Japanese High School basketball. His offensive ability is nearly unstoppable and is equally matched by his defensive ability. It is rumoured that no one in High School, not even college, can beat him in a 1 on 1 match.

Rukawa challenged him to a 1 on 1 match in the 2nd round of the National Championships, but Sawakita proves that he was the better player and effectively shuts down Rukawa from scoring, forcing him to change tactics. His offensive power is exceptionally strong as it's shown to force Rukawa's plays to fail every time. This left Rukawa with only one choice, which is to pass the ball to his teammates. Sawakita is known to be the best player within the history of Sannoh as he is currently holding the title of "Japan's # 1 High School Player."

His defensive skills are just as strong as his offensive skills to the point where he considers that Rukawa's dribbling is weak since he almost stole the ball off him on a lot of occasions. He is currently unmatched in a 1 on 1 match. He also defeated Sendoh of Ryonan High in their middle school days.

Offensive skills:

Sawakita has extraordinary speed and stamina that even surpasses Rukawa's tight defense easily. He passes over Akagi with a spin move with such speed that the latter has no time to react and then the former proceeds with a fast break. Under the pressure of the three giants in Shohoku, he still managed to change his shot in mid air and score with a reverse lay up. His signature shot is a tear drop shot with a release so high that it's impossible to block, even for Sakuragi. Even when far from the basket, Sawakita is an accurate three-point shooter who managed to pull down Shohoku's lead in the first half of their game. He can also convert an and-1 despite being fouled. Based on the manga, Sawakita's offensive ability is unstoppable and it is certain that he can score over anyone.

Defensive skills:

His tight defense gives no loopholes for his opponents. When using the full-court press, Sawakita pressured Miyagi to make the wrong move in passing. Even when playing 1 on 1 defense with Rukawa, the latter was unable to score, with Sawakita in front of his face and giving no opportunity to make a basket. The perfect Rukawa who is idolized in Shohoku's gathered perspectives is just a player with many offensive loopholes for Sawakita. On numerous occasions, it was Sawakita who steals the ball from Shohoku. His defensive skills are also at a level in which he doesn't give the opponent any opening or any opportunity to even get past him when he's 100% focusing in the game. Once he's focused, his defensive skills are just about indestructible.


No matter how seasoned his skills were, his playing style is as selfish as Kaede Rukawa's had been which caused a lot to Sannoh and eventually lose the game. Sakuragi's conclusion turned out correctly as Sawakita's confidence with his scoring abilities also meant that he will never pass. Sakuragi told Akagi to leave Masashi and focus on blocking Sawakita instead. Sakuragi purposely let himself get passed to setup Akagi for the block and successfully stop Sawakita. The main reason for this is his initial growth in basketball prior to when he first joined a basketball team. Sawakita's mindset was centered around 1-on-1 plays, which was developed as he played against his father when he was only a child.

Countless 1-on-1 matches against his father caused him to be unaware of other opponents and easily lose his focus. He can only focus on one thing while playing. If he starts thinking about two or more things such as a second man appearing to double-team on him, he loses his focus in the game. Just like what Sakuragi did to him.


Early childhood

Sawakita was taught basketball by his father Tetsuharu "Tetsu" Sawakita, who played him 1-on-1 since he was 4 years old. The first present received by Eiji was a basketball when he was just an infant. Eiji got bored of playing with the toy net in his house and that is when his father bought a house with a semi basketball court and with a real basketball net. His father would play with him every sunrise and sunset.

Primary and Junior High days

There was no basketball club in primary school and Eiji played with his father with the goal of beating his father. When he entered Junior high, he finally beat his father. In the club he easily beat his seniors who were starters in tournaments, commenting that playing with them is boring. His seniors were unhappy with his cocky attitude and beat him out of jealousy.

Later on, Sawakita beat Sendoh when they played each other in Junior High. Sendoh noted that he's the only person whom he lost in a 1 on 1 match. Sawakita is also probably the best player in his middle school days as he is currently Japan's # 1 High School Player right now. However, Sendoh doesn't clearly remember his name, which led to him mispronouncing it as "Kitasawa", during a talk with Rukawa.

He also went to America to play basketball during his 1st year of high school and he also mastered the technique required; the Tear Drop shot (this was noted by Masashi when he used the technique against Sakuragi since he knows he can jump high. Masashi praised Sakuragi for making Sawakita use the move he mastered for his journey to America).

After Slam Dunk

It is shown in Slam Dunk: Ten Days After that Sawakita is on board a plane to America. He struggles with his English and ended up getting drunk when he asked for too much wine from the air stewardess


To Kaede Rukawa: "Do you want to become Japan's #1, Rukawa? Then do it in a Japan without me. I'll be going to America once summer ends."

To Kaede Rukawa: "Before I go to America, I must destroy Kanagawa's new seed."


  • He was based on a NBA player Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway who was the next Air apparent when Dr J asked Michael Jordan who he would pass the torch to.
  • Even though he can score around Sakuragi, he still considered the latter a threat because of his jumping ability. He hesitates about dunking the ball when facing against Sakuragi (because he jumps too high). Eventually he was blocked from behind by Sakuragi while trying to perform a dunk.
  • Sendoh misremembers his name as "Kitasawa" while talking with Rukawa.
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