Rui Hachimura is a professional basketball player who is currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team’s small forward. Hachimura was born in Toyama Prefecture, Japan. His mother is Japanese, while his father is Beninese (a sub-native from South Africa). As a child, he was fond of playing baseball as the team catcher and pitcher. In December 2013, he attended Meisei High School, where he led the team to win their second title.
Transfer to the USA
Before he could graduate from high school, he signed a National Letter of Intent so he could play basketball in the US, as he was considered as one of the best international players upon entering college. However, his eligibility was put into question when he was asked to attend a prep school before entering Gonzaga Bulldogs because he needs to be culturally and linguistically knowledgeable.
After his stint for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, he joined the 2019 NBA Draft and was selected by the Washington Wizards. He became the second Japanese player to make it through the NBA after Yasutaka Okayama.
Hachimura debuted during the Wizard’s game against the Dallas Mavericks and he recorded 14 points with 10 rebounds, however, the Wizards suffered a loss from that game. They also lost the game against the Los Angeles Clippers, but he managed to score 30 points with 9 rebounds and 3 assists.
In January 2023, he was traded from the Wizards to the Lakers.
- 2018, 2019 First-Team All-WCC
- 2019 WCC Player of the Year
- 2019 Julius Erving Award
- 2020 NBA All-Rookie Second Team