Thanks to Mrs. Pierce and her kids in Alaska for sharing this amazing tale.
This basketball washed ashore on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island in March. After doing some translating of the characters printed on the ball, researchers discovered it had come from Kesen Junior High in Iwate, Prefecture. Here is a Gigapan Image of what is left of the school site after the tsunami hit last Spring.
Below is a map showing just how far the ball had drifted before being found in Alaska.
If it had taken a completely straight path across the Pacific, it would have traveled around 3900 miles. That is pretty unlikely with changing currents, winds, and storms. The total trip was likely much higher. Whichever brand created the basketball could sure show the quality and durability of their product with this story.
View One basketball's journey in a larger map
A Japanese News station did this story on the ball's journey. Use Google Translate to help make more sense of the report.