Wizards select Rui Hachimura, NBA's first Japanese-born first-round pick

Chris Lingebach
June 20, 2019 - 8:56 pm

With the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards selected Rui Hachimura Thursday night.

Hachimura, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward out of Gonzaga, becomes the first Japanese-born player in NBA history to be selected in the first round of the draft. The 21-year-old is a current member of the Japanese national team.

Hachimura averaged 19.7 points on 59.1 percent shooting from the field, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.7 blocks over 37 games (37 starts) as a junior with the Bulldogs in 2018-19.

Rui Hachimura: Best Dunks & College Highlights

Chauncey Billups referred to Hachimura as "a young Kawhi Leonard" on the ESPN broadcast, stressing emphasis on the word 'young.'

Now for some live reaction from Twitter:

Longtime executive Tommy Sheppard, who has filled in on an interim capacity since Ernie Grunfeld's April firing, was entrusted by Ted Leonsis to guide the Wizards through the draft and into free agency. This marks Sheppard's first big roster decision running basketball operations.

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