Rui Hachimura is one of the uprising basketball players in the world. He initiated his career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) after being picked in the first round (ninth overall) by the Washington Wizards in the 2019’s NBA Draft.
Rui was interested in sports from a young age, but, he used to play baseball before he grew a passion for basketball.
Besides these, there are a lot of facts about Rui Hachimura which are unknown among his fans. Well, some of them are given here!
5. A Distinctive Family
Rui Hachimura was born on February 8, 1998, in Toyama, Japan. He is the son of a Beninese father, Zakari Jabil, and a Japanese mother, Makiko (麻紀子).
Hachimura was named by his maternal grandfather; his name means “base” or “fortress” in the Japanese. His grandfather was a huge fan of baseball, and hence, the love for baseball transferred to Rui and he began playing the sports.
Apart from his parents and grandfather, Rui also has three younger siblings, a brother, Allen (阿蓮, Aren), 19, and two sisters, 17 and 11. Much like him, his younger brother is also a professional basketball player who plays for Tokai University in Japan.
4. The Only Second Japanese Player to Play in the NBA
Rui Hachimura is the only second Japanese-born basketball player who has played in the National Basketball Association (NBA); the first was Yuta Tabuse.
The skills and performance of Rui with his former teams managed to gain the attention of numerous basketball fans from all around the world, including the authorities of the NBA’s team, Washington Wizards.
Proving his worth, he posted a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) in his NBA debut against the Dallas Mavericks on October 23, 2019.
3. Named 2019 WCC Player of the Year
In 2019, Rui Hachimura added another accolade to his name as he was presented with The West Coast Conference (WCC) Men’s Basketball Player of the Year award, a basketball award that is given to the most excellent men’s basketball player in the West Coast Conference.
Hachimura was able to get such success while he was with his college basketball team, Gonzaga Bulldogs (from 2016 to 2019). With the Gonzaga Bulldogs, he made his debut against Utah Valley on November 11, 2016, posting one point and three rebounds in four minutes.
Slowly and gradually, his skills started to improve even more. In 2017, he helped his team to defeat San Diego and win the West Coast Conference (WCC) title—he had scored eight points.
2. Didn’t Know How to Speak English
The Japanese born basketball player, Rui Hachimura wasn’t familiar with the international language, i.e, English, at all. After moving into the United States and getting enrolled in a whole new University, it was hard for him to adapt.
Rui, however, made a decision to learn and adapt to the new surroundings. He also got a lot of help from his friends and everyone surrounding him. Soon enough, he began to speak English more fluently than before.
Language was the most difficult. I learned by talking to media, teammates, coaches, friends and in class.Rui Hachimura on learning English.
While speaking of this problem with The Gonzaga Bulletin, Rui stated,
I was the guy who didn’t speak anything last year, but they were already trying to help me with speaking English or anything I did. That was so fun and very helpful for everything, on the court or off the court.Rui Hachimura on learning English.
It was not only the language that he learned while at Gonzaga. He also learned valuable gameplay experience while going through the language with coach, Torsten Loibl.
1. Represents His Home Nation at International Levels
Though Rui Hachimura might be busy with the NBA matches, he never forgets to serve for his home nation, Japan. He made his international debut representing Japan at the 2013 FIBA Asia U16 Championship in Iran. In that tournament, he had an average of 22.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks—his team finished third.
After that, in 2014, he played for Japan’s under 18 national team in the Albert-Schweitzer-Tournament in Germany. Unfortunately, the team finished last.
Nevertheless, Rui never lost his hope and continued to show his talent at international levels. Later, he proved his worth for his team as he averaged team-bests of 20.6 points and 11.0 rebounds in the 2017 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup.
Hachimura also scored 25 points which helped Japan to defeat Iran in the qualification rounds for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
- Isaiah Thomas says Hachimura reminded him of young Kawhi Leonard.
- Rui was brought up in Sendai, Japan.
- A graduate student and video coordinator for Gonzaga, Ken Nakagawa, served as the unofficial translator for Rui.
- The 6 feet 8 inches tall basketball star was out for a couple of weeks due to a groin injury.
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