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Slam Dunk Characters
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Gender:[Image: 12?cb=20140503222030] Male
Birthday:April 1
Height:189.2 cm (6'2½")
Weight:85 kg (187 lb.)
Hair Color:Red
Eye Color:Brown

At first, he can only do dunks and lay-ups but under Akagi's training, his rebounding prowess became the main support for the team, which earned him another nickname now known throughout all of the Kanagawa prefecture because of this, "The king of Rebounds". Then with Coach Anzai's training, he is able to finish 20,000 shots in a week to further improve his shooting range. Despite this, Mito notes that standing at 45 degrees to the right gives Sakuragi higher success rate at shooting jump shots.

Jumping Power and Rebounding
As seen and witnessed by Haruko and Hikoichi, the skills Sakuragi really excels at is his jumping, speed and power. Masashi Kawata of Sannoh notes that he has never seen a person with that kind of leg power. The height of his jump is incredibly high as noted by Coach Takato of Kainan High, as he was able to jump back to block Sawakita's dunk attempt and stop the alley-oop to Masashi, despite falling to the floor. His jumping ability makes him a formidable rebounder under the tutelage of Akagi. With this, he is more than enough to outrebound strong centers such as Toru Hanagata, Jun Uozomi and Masahiro Nobe of Sannoh. Coach Domoto was even forced to put Masashi Kawata into him just to stop him from rebounding. Despite the obstacle put upon him, he is still able to hold on to his rebounding against the big men of Sannoh, which became as the starting key factor that Shohoku made a comeback victory.

He gained his abnormal strength from his fights as a delinquent and some power training that hardened him before playing basketball. Akagi notes that Sakuragi is much stronger than Jun Uozumi of Ryonan despite being smaller. This was shown when he easily threw Koshino Hiroaki of Ryonan in their practice game, when the latter attempted to take the ball from him. He is also noted for being strong as Akagi says that in a battle of strength, no one can beat him. When he is and his gang came to Mitsui's rescue (though he never fought) against Ryu's gang, he was able to stretch down the pipe held by one of Ryu's men. He is able to hold his own against Mikio Kawata who weighs 130 kg. 

Speed and Stamina
Beside his jumping power and strength, he is also fast as he can catch up to defend, combined with his large amount of stamina. These were tested when Totsuka Tetsuya of Ryokufu High School challenged him in a battle of speed. While he managed to outrun Sakuragi in the 1st half, he tires out first when Sakuragi continously ran faster in the 2nd half. Even Sendoh of Ryonan, considers Sakuragi's endless stamina as a huge threat, noticing that despite everyone nearing their limit in the second half, Sakuragi acts as if the match has barely started showing no sign of tiredness.

Sakuragi has difficulty facing off against a weak opponent as he is unable to show his true skills and abilities. Mito notices this when Yoshinori Miyamasu of Kainan subs in as Sakuragi starts to miss shots. Another weakness of Sakuragi for the majority of the series is that his shooting presence was not highly accurate which changed just before the Nationals. He is also a weak on-ball defender and can easily fall for fakes, however, his athleticism somehow makes it up for it. His arrogance and daydreaming often causes the ball to hit his face while in a game, leaving him unaware of a pass. This is also the main reason he doesn't succeed in his plots and always end up being an embarrassment for the team.
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Super Rookie
Offense Demon
[Image: 12?cb=20140503222030] Male
January 1
187 cm (6'1½")
75 kg (165 lb.)
Hair Color
Eye Color
Professional Status
Basketball player
[Image: 90?cb=20141118152046]
All Japan Junior Team
1st year
Small Forward
Jersey Number
Personal Status
First Appearance
Manga Debut
Chapter 2
Anime Debut
Episode 1
Japanese Voice
Hikaru Midorikawa
English Voice
Scott McCord
Bon Reyes (GMA Dub)

Rukawa is a tall young man with short black hair and blue eyes. He usually is seen wearing the Shohoku basket ball team uniform with a black band in his left arm and white sports shoes. In his casual clothes he is seen wearing baggy type clothing.
Since many girls find him very attractive, he is considered one of the most good looking charaters in the series.
Rukawa is reserved,quiet, cool, selfish, insensitive and very cold. He cares about nothing besides basketball. When not on court, he is usually seen asleep on the roof of Shohoku or in class. He even rides his bike asleep. Waking Rukawa from a nap is considered unforgivable, since he will almost always automatically beat up the culprit. He has also been in his fair share on off-court fights, but can hold his own.
When it comes to basketball, Rukawa does not accept loss easily. This is shown during the practice match between freshmen against 2nd and 3rd years, especially against Akagi. His goal is to be the best High School player in Japan, and he considers Akira Sendoh of Ryonan to be his greatest rival.
He is also a very lazy person. As he considers sleeping his only hobby outside basketball. He also choosed Shohoku and refused Moichi Taoka's basketball scholarship in Ryonan, simply because Shohoku is the closest to his home; annoying the coach with his lazy nature.
After Anzai motivated him into becoming the number one player in Japan, Rukawa became very ambitious and more devoted to basketball. This was shown when he challenged Mitsui, and later Sendoh on 1 on 1 game; vowing to never lose to anyone. His new found amibtion caused his personality to become more colder, intimidating. As it was seen during practice, when he challenged his teammates with an intimidating and menacing look.
He also appears to very lonely, unfriendly and unsociable. Apart from the basketball team whom he considerates teammates, Rukawa doesn't have any real friends to talk to, or he might even have no interest in friendship, as basketball is his only objective in life. Many people viewed Rukawa as someone who prefers to act on his own rather with his teammates.
Despite his dark personality, Rukawa can show a bit of respect and compassion for others. During the match against Shoyo, when Sakuragi's dunk was invalid and got fouled out due to the offensive foul, Rukawa told Sakuragi that ii must be very pitiful for him. The second time, is during the match against Sannoh, when Sakuragi crashed into the table going after the loose ball saving it from out of bounds, Rukawa praised Sakuragi for saving the ball and told him that he looks very awful after the latter seemed unconscious, showing no sign of mouvements after his crash.
He is usually stoic and emotionless, and the only time in the series he is shown smiling is when he realizes that Eiji Sawakita is a better player than him.
He went to Tomigaoka Junior High.
After defeating Ryonan, Rukawa approaches Coach Anzai seeking permission to go to America, since he aspires to join the NBA. Coach Anzai flatly refuses to give him permission, and tells him that his goal should be to become the best high school player in Japan first, and Coach Anzai's wife explains to Rukawa everything to ensure he would never end up sharing a same fate as her husband's late-student, Ryuji Yazawa.
At first, many noticed Rukawa's potential to be a future basketball star. Ryonan's head Coach Taoka was surprised  that Rukawa was just a freshman. He noted that at such a young age, Rukawa has what it takes to be a high school basketball team ace. According to Sendoh and Coach Anzai, his speed and athleticism, combined with his drive to win and explosive strength, he is unstoppable on the court. He literally lives and breathes Basketball to the point he is able to shoot free throws with his eyes closed vs Toyotama High due to injuring his eye meaning he could not see depth nor estimate distances.
Rukawa is a scoring machine and once he heats up, it is very hard to stop him. He always surprises the crowd and never fails to answer back when faced with a strong opponent. He is a microwave when it comes to offense being capable to heat up and go for a bunch points very quickly. An example of this was in the Kainan game where due to Akagi's injury he scored 25 points in 6 minutes.
However, his playing style is criticized as being selfish. He met his match in Sawakita and cannot do a thing against him. Realizing the meaning behind what Sendoh said about Rukawa's selfish playing style, he decided to start passing, which collapsed Sawakita's concentration and allowed Rukawa to gain the upperhand. His pass was also the main factor to Sakuragi's game-winning shot.
His defensive skills are also not to be reckoned with. He can steal the ball and even block taller players, such as Toru Hanagata of Shoyo and Takasago of Kainan
Hanamichi Sakuragi
"Dou aho" Rukawa's nickname for Sakuragi (which means "Moron")
Since the beginning, they are really on bad terms as Sakuragi considers him as an obstacle to win Haruko's heart. Sakuragi always wants to win against him in everything. Whenever Sakuragi makes a mistake or is being scolded by Akagi, Rukawa always comments on him "Moron" comically, which enrages Sakuragi even more. But deep inside, Rukawa always knew that Sakuragi can put his abilities to a better use, instead of wasting time competing against him. In the game against Sannoh, Rukawa made the last pass which enabled Sakuragi to shoot the winning shot. The two of them celebrate their victory with a high five, before resuming their rivarly once again.
Akira Sendoh
Sendoh is the ace player of Ryonan, he is the most known rival of Rukawa and he always want to challenge him to find out who is the best ace player. They always had a 1 on 1 game during their game practice and in the real match. However, Coach Anzai believes he is still weaker than Sendoh. To be the strongest ace player, Rukawa challenges Sendoh 1 on 1 but their game ends in a tie.
Sendoh gave Rukawa a teaching that being an ace player is not just challenging someone else on 1 on 1. An Ace has many weapons; attack is only one way.
Eiji Sawakita
Sawakita is the best ace player in Japan. Ever since childhood, he plays basketball. During the match between Sannoh and Shohoku, Rukawa keeps on challenging Sawakita but their abilities are in big difference. Inspite this fact, Rukawa kept on challenging Sawakita on one on one. However, he finally came to realize the meaning behind Sendoh's words after their 1 on 1. Rukawa decided to pass and eventually gained the upperhand as he had found out Sawakita's weakness, also with a help from Sakuragi.
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