NBA champion Jeremy Lin welcomes Rui Hachimura to the league

Chris Lingebach
June 21, 2019 - 12:38 pm
NBA champion Jeremy Lin welcomes Rui Hachimura to the league

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Adulation poured in for Rui Hachimura from all over as his name was called by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Thursday night.

Along with realizing his NBA dream, Hachimura, in being selected ninth overall by the Wizards, becomes the first Japanese-born first-round pick in NBA history.

PHOTOS: Best Hachimura Dunks & College Highlights

Newly crowned NBA champion Jeremy Lin, the first Taiwanese-American to play in the NBA, who just added the distinction of the first Asian-American to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy with the Raptors, extended Hachimura a warm welcome to the league on Twitter.

"Wow congrats to @rui_8mura on being the first ever Japanese born player to be drafted!" Lin wrote. "Look forward to seeing you on the court!"

Former George Washington hoopster Yuta Watanabe, also Japanese, was congratulatory as well. Watanabe, a member of the Grizzlies, went undrafted in 2018.

"Louis to wizards! Congratulations!!!" Watanabe wrote, according to Google's translation. "Dc is my second home, so I'm so happy. And personally, I've achieved the feat of finally getting a license on this happy day today. It is the first license because i did not have a driver's license even in Japan."

This was clearly a point of pride for players of Asian descent, of which there are still very few in the NBA, and worth taking a moment to celebrate.

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