outfielder Brandon Sinjin Sato has won the Wade Boggs Athletic Achievement Award this year. He was recognized June 15 at the Hillsborough County Commissioner’s meeting.
“There are so many other great athletes in Hillsborough County, and I feel very honored to win this award,” said Sato, who graduated from King’s International Baccalaureate Program with a 6.72 grade point average this month.
The honor, named after 12-time All-Star and former Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Wade Boggs, is given out annually to the baseball player or team in Hillsborough County that not only demonstrates athletic and academic achievements, but also showcases off-field successes.
Sato had a standout senior season for the Lions with a batting average of .350 and an on-base percentage of .449. He scored 15 runs, hit four doubles, and stole seven bases.
He was a starter all four years at King and earned Rookie of the Year as a ninth-grader.
He was chosen as a team captain his last year and received the Team Mate of the Year award this past season for the second time in a row.
As a student, Sato was a member of the National Honor Society, a National Merit Finalist, and he earned the Advanced Placement Scholar Award.
Although baseball and homework take up most of his time, Sato said he finds time on the weekends and during the summer to volunteer for Metropolitan Ministries and Feeding America. He has even participated for three years in Relay for Life, and served as a team captain this year.
“I am so blessed with my situation, and I just wanted to give back to the community as much as I could and to the people who are less fortunate,” Sato said.
Sato’s parents, Frank and Grace Sato, said their son still has time for himself and his friends despite his other commitments.
“I don’t even know how he found the time to accomplish all of this in four years,” his father said. “He usually doesn’t even get home until about six at night, then he is up studying sometimes until midnight, but he still has friends and a personal life.
Because of his achievements, Sato received offers from multiple colleges around the country. He ultimately decided to attend the University of Southern California because he was born in Los Angeles. There, he will major in business.
“We left it up to him to decide where he wanted to go,” his father said. “He had a lot of opportunities to go to other colleges, but with his personality and the fact that we still have family there made USC a very good choice.”
Sato said he hopes to either play club baseball or join the team as a walk-on. Regardless, he said he is happy with the decision he made.
“I’m really excited to go there because that’s where I was born, and I follow their athletic teams very closely so it was a pretty easy decision,” he said.
Sato’s parents said they couldn’t be happier for their son.
“We are so proud of him for winning such an award,” his father said. “It says so much about him as a person, not just as a student or an athlete.”