Where is Lakers’ Rui Hachimura from? Where did he play in college?
Rui Hachimura’s rise to prominence can be traced back to his impressive performances at the youth level of basketball in Japan.
Since his birth on February 8, 1998, Rui Hachimura has had a predisposition to impact the basketball world significantly. He is a Japanese professional basketball player who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Before his NBA career, he played for the Japan national team and the Gonzaga Bulldogs during college.
Rui Hachimura is a versatile basketball player who effectively plays small forward and power forward positions. He was chosen as the ninth overall pick by the Washington Wizards in the 2019 NBA draft and was recognized as one of the NBA All-Rookie Second Team members in 2020, cementing his status as a rising star in the league.
Rui Hachimura made a significant decision on April 15, 2019, as he declared that he would leave college early and enter the 2019 NBA draft. After considering his options, Hachimura was ultimately selected by the Washington Wizards as the ninth overall pick.
Hachimura’s remarkable success can be traced back to his early days as a basketball player in Japan, where he quickly made a name for himself as a standout player at the youth level. He led Meisei High School to three consecutive All-Japan High School Tournament titles. His undeniable talent was showcased as a top player for the Japanese under-17 and under-19 national teams in FIBA competitions.
In 2016, Hachimura became the fifth Japanese-born men’s NCAA Division I player for Gonzaga. He continued to make history in 2017 as the first Japanese national to compete in the NCAA Division I men’s tournament.
Rui Hachimura’s birthplace
Rui Hachimura loved sports and had a multicultural background during his early years in Toyama Prefecture, Japan. His mother, Makiko, is Japanese, while his father, Zakari Jabil, is Beninese. Hachimura’s grandfather, a big baseball fan, gave him his name, “base” or “fortress” in Japanese.
Growing up, Hachimura was a talented athlete and played baseball as a catcher and pitcher, but he excelled in basketball. He led his high school basketball team, Meisei High School, to two consecutive All-Japan High School Tournament titles. In the 2013 championship game, he scored an impressive 32 points in a 92-78 win over Fukuoka University Ohori.
Hachimura’s success on the court earned him an invitation to the Jordan Brand Classic in April 2015, where he recorded nine points and five rebounds in the International Game. Later that year, on November 21, 2015, he signed a National Letter of Intent to play college basketball for the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the United States, and ESPN took notice of his talent.
Years at Gonzaga
On November 11, 2016, Rui Hachimura had his first game with the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the regular season against Utah Valley. He played for four minutes and achieved one point and three rebounds. Hachimura became the fifth Japanese-born player to participate in NCAA Division I basketball. On December 1, 2016, he scored a season-high of 10 points in 13 minutes against Mississippi Valley State. On February 23, 2017, his eight points helped Gonzaga win the West Coast Conference title against San Diego. Hachimura made history by being the first Japanese player to appear in the NCAA Division I men’s tournament on March 16, 2017, after playing one minute against South Dakota State. He averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the field in 4.6 minutes per game during his freshman year.
During his sophomore year at Gonzaga, Hachimura played 37 games and made two starts, averaging 11.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. In his junior year, he was named to the Preseason All-WCC Team and had an impressive start to the season with 33 points in a game against Idaho State on November 6, 2018. Hachimura’s performance was exceptional in the Maui Invitational finals, where he recorded 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, leading Gonzaga to an upset victory over the No. 1-ranked Duke. He was named the tournament’s most valuable player and the 2019 WCC Player of the Year for his outstanding performance, leading Gonzaga in scoring with an average of 19.7 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game during the 2018-19 season.
On April 15, 2019, Rui Hachimura decided to leave college early and participate in the 2019 NBA draft. He weighed his options carefully and was eventually picked by the Washington Wizards as the ninth overall selection. This decision was the culmination of his early basketball journey, which involved leading his high school team to two consecutive All-Japan High School Tournament titles and rising as one of the top players in the NCAA during his time at Gonzaga.