Rui Hachimura helped the Los Angeles Lakers win their opening playoff game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The 25-year-old had 29 points, 6 rebounds and one assist, ESPN reports. The Lakers beat the Grizzlies 128-116. According to the NBA, Hachimura is the first Lakers player to have 25+ points off the bench in a playoff game since Magic Johnson in 1996.
Hachimura was born in Toyama, Japan. His mother, Maiko, is Japanese, and his father, Zakari Jabil, is Beninese. The power forward played high school basketball in his home country of Japan before signing a letter of intent to play for the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Spokane, Washington. He made his debut for the team in 2016.
The Washington Wizards drafted Hachimura as the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. He spent nearly four years with the Wizards before he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in January 2023.
Hachimura is excited to be representing Japan while playing for the Lakers.
“I wanna show what I can do for my country,” he said in a post-game press conference after the playoff win.
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please make a tax-deductible donation to support diverse news coverage about AAPIs and to fund the addition of a new reporter. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.