HomeBad Ass AsiansFirst Japanese Born Player Drafted Into NBA

First Japanese Born Player Drafted Into NBA

Rui Hachimura
via Twitter

Rui Hachimura, a basketball player from Toyoma, Japan, made history last Thursday when the Wizards chose him as the 9th overall pick in the NBA draft. According to Sports Illustrated, he is the first ever Japanese born player to be drafted into the NBA.

The basketball player is the son of a Japanese mother and a West African father. He played for Gonzaga University for three seasons and went on to claim several titles during his final year. This includes West Coast Conference Player of the Year and Naismith Award finalist.

The 6’8″ power forward averaged nearly 20 points per game last season and hauled in 6.5 rebounds per game.

Hachimura could become a national star, Quartz reports. Some believe he is the future of the sport and the athlete already has an endorsement with Nissin, a Japanese cup noodles company.

According to the New York Times, Hachimura feels pride for being able to be a role model for biracial children. The half-black, half-Japanese athlete often faced discrimination in Japan.

“They have a lot of challenges in sports, not just basketball but other sports,” Hachimura said about biracial Japanese kids to The Undefeated. “There is a lot of discrimination. It’s not crazy, but I don’t want them to feel bad for themselves. I want them to enjoy playing sports in Japan.

“There were half-black and half-Japanese kids that I saw at this game,” he once said. “I know they are watching me. And I have kids in Japan that are really watching me.”

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