Washington Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura is playing for his home country of Japan in the FIBA World Cup, and he showed his potential in the team’s first game Sunday.
Hachimura scored 15 points, but shot 30% from the field during Japan’s 86-67 loss against Turkey. Hachimura also shot 9-of-10 from the free throw line and grabbed seven rebounds.
A forward out of Gonzaga, Hachimura has the potential to be a good scorer in the NBA. Last season with the Bulldogs, Hachimura led the team in scoring and averaged 19.7 points a game. Hachimura didn’t shoot threes much in college. But he averaged one 3-point attempt a game last season, a career high.
Hachimura, who is also Beninese, spoke with ESPN’s Marc Spearsearlier this year about how he’s proud of his heritage. On draft night, he became the first Japanese player taken in the first round of the NBA draft, per NBA.com.
Along with Hachimura, Memphis Grizzlies guard Yuta Watanabe is also playing for Japan in the FIBA World Cup.
Japan will play its next game of the FIBA World Cup on Tuesday at 4:30 a.m. ET against the Czech Republic.