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World | Jun 22, 2022

Naomi Osaka, LeBron James launch new media company

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Japan’s Naomi Osaka during her first round match against Colombia’s Camila Osorio (Photo: REUTERS/James Gourley)

(Reuters)

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka is launching a new media company in partnership with four-time NBA champion LeBron James aimed at telling stories that cross-cultural barriers, the former world number one announced on Tuesday (June 21).

Hana Kuma, which translates to “flower bear,” will produce stories that are “culturally specific but universal to all audiences” and already has multiple projects lined up, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“What excites me is being able to inspire people and tell new stories, particularly ones that I would have wanted to see when I was a kid. I always wanted to kind of see someone like me,” four-times Grand Slam champion Osaka, who has a Haitian father and Japanese mother, told the New York Times.

Cast member LeBron James attends a premiere for the film “Hustle” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 1, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

James and Maverick Carter’s The SpringHill Company will serve as financing, operations and producing partner for Hana Kuma, the paper said.

The production company is the latest project from the 24-year-old Osaka and her long-time agent Stuart Duguid.

The duo also have a sports agency named Evolve, which signed Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios as the first member of their roster on Monday.

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