About Rui Hachimura
Rui Hachimura is a long, athletic forward with a unique background who has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last two seasons. He emerged as a prospect very early in his teens picking the game up late but quickly solidifying himself as one of the most promising players in Japanese basketball history. The Toyama Perfecture native averaged 22.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship, guided Mesei High School to multiple championships, and appeared in the 2015 Jordan Brand Classic International game before committing to play for Mark Few’s Gonzaga Bulldogs ahead of the 2016-17 season. Hachimura played sparingly as a true freshman averaging 2.6 points over 4.6 minutes per game appearing in mop up duty for a team that made it all the way to the National Championship Game but subsequently shined at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship averaging 20.6 points and 11 rebounds per game. He built on that momentum as a sophomore averaging 11.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game to capture All-West Coast Conference 1st Team honors, but took another significant step forward as a prospect showing extremely well in his first stint with Japan’s senior national team before emerging as one of the nation’s most efficient offensive players averaging 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game to earn Consensus All-American 1st Team honors as a junior.
- Has good size for a modern forward listed at 6’8 with a 230-pound frame to go along with a 7’1.5 wingspan. Good all-around athlete whose agility and willingness to be physical gives him versatility on both ends of the floor.
- Teamed with Brandon Clarke to form one of the top mid-major forward pairings ever competing with Clarke for the title of the season’s most efficient volume scorer throughout Gonzaga’s grueling non-conference schedule and dominant WCC run. Played a big role but did a little bit of everything offensively exploiting mismatches from the inside and out, filling lanes in Transition, working off the ball in the half court, and crashing the glass. Had a truly remarkable season as a scorer statistically considering he attempted less than 1 three-pointer per game.
- Showed the ability to defend multiple positions and make an impact with his length. Slides his feet well enough to defend some guards and has made major strides guarding on the interior but is still learning how to use his tools on the perimeter.
- Held up better in the post allowing 0.767 points per Post Up possession [60th percentile] than he did on the perimeter.
- 2018-19 Consensus All-America First Team selection.
- Finalist for the 2018-19 Naismith Player of the Year Trophy.
- Winner of the 2018-19 Julius Erving Award as the nation’s top small forward.
- Became the fifth Japanese-born male to play NCAA Division I college basketball.
- Participated in the 2016 Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in Toronto.
- In 2014, represented his home country of Japan at the FIBA U17 World Championships in Dubai, averaging a tournament-best 22.1 points per game.
- WCC Player of the Year and All-WCC First Team selection.
- Ranked third in the WCC in scoring (19.7 ppg) and sixth in rebounding (6.5 rpg).
- Finished eighth in the nation in field goals made (275).
- Ranked 28th in D-I in field goal percentage (59.1).
- Three-time WCC Player of the Week.
- Intriguing physical profile.
- Very light on his feet and can finish above the rim.
- Plays with strength and finishes through contact.
- Confident mid-range jump shooter.
- Spoke little English before arriving at Gonzaga.
- Expected to be the first Japanese-born player to be drafted into the NBA. Only two Japanese-born players have appeared in a regular-season NBA game: Yuta Watanabe and Yuta Tabuse.