Skip to main content

Gonzaga's Rui Hachimura Makes History as First Japanese-Born Player Drafted into NBA

The Wizards helped Hachimura make history on Thursday night.

Gonzaga's Rui Hachimura made history on Thursday as the first-ever Japanese-born player drafted into the NBA when the Wizards selected him with the No. 9 pick.

Hachimura, a native of Toyama, Japan, is also the first Japanese player ever taken in the first round.

The 6'8" forward played three seasons at Gonzaga and became a full-time starter during his final year. He went on to claim West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors in addition to being named a Naismith Award finalist and First-Team All-American. The new Wizard averaged a team-high 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game during his junior year on 59.1% shooting from the field while starting all 37 games for the Bulldogs.

Hachimura's mother is Japanese and his father is from the West African nation of Benin. His draft-night suit paid tribute to both cultures.

Hachimura will join All-Stars John Wall and Bradley Beal in Washington.