Scott Brooks

Wizards make Hachimura 1st Japanese player ever in NBA first round

Wizards make Hachimura 1st Japanese player ever in NBA first round

Rui Hachimura became the first player from Japan to get chosen in the first round of the NBA draft, taken with the No. 9 overall pick by the rebuilding Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward averaged a team-leading 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds last season as a junior at Gonzaga, where he was the West Coast Conference player of the year.

The only other Japanese player drafted in NBA history was Yasutaka Okayama, who went 171st overall in 1981. He never appeared in a regular-season game, something just two players from the country have done: Yuta Tabuse for the Phoenix Suns in 2004-05, and Yuta Watanabe for the Memphis Grizzlies in...

75°