As we’ve seen many times before, the Capitals fan base reaches well beyond the DC metro area. One fan from Japan, who was recently introduced to the great sport of hockey, made his way to Kettler for the first time on Monday.
Daiki Sugiyama was born in Japan but came to America while in high school to study abroad. He is currently a sophomore who studies at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania and has studied abroad for six years. Sugiyama became a Caps fan when his best friend Daniel Zuckerman brought him to a game at Verizon Center last season against the Winnipeg Jets. Zuckerman is from Rockville, Maryland.
“He came home for Thanksgiving break with me last season because he didn’t want to travel back to Japan and I brought him to a Caps game. He loved it,” said Zuckerman.
— Michael Marzzacco (@Marswaggo) March 6, 2017
“This team is good, nice, and fun to watch,” said Sugiyama. “The atmosphere that night was awesome and the fans are very friendly and passionate about the team. They’re great fans.”
Coming from a country that is big on baseball, when I asked Sugiyama why he thinks more people should follow the sport of hockey, he replied, “Hockey isn’t a sport that’s well-known in Japan yet, but I think it should be. It’s a physical game, there’s a lot of speed and technique. I wish I could play.”
This morning was Sugiyama’s first time taking in a practice at Kettler.
“I loved how close the players are. You can stand right outside of the glass and you can see them up close. Nate Schmidt even gave me a thumbs up!” said Sugiyama.
By Michael Marzzacco