Lakers News: Rui Hachimura Makes International History For LA

The Lakers’ new forward is already shattering precedents.

Los Angeles Lakers combo forward Rui Hachimura (he’s nominally a power forward, but given the fit needs of this LA team, he will probably see some run at small forward alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis) has already made a unique kind of history for his new team.

Per the Lakers’ official Twitter, Hachimura will be the first Japanese player to don the purple and gold in the team’s 75-year history.

The 6’8″ sharpshooting forward, 24, was born in Toyama Prefecture, Japan. He headed stateside for college, where he played for Gonzaga for three seasons. While there, he was named the 2019 West Coast Conference Player of the Year and a consensus first-time All-American. He was also a two-team All-WCC inclusion.

Hachimura was selected with the ninth pick in the 2019 draft by the Washington Wizards, and made the All-Rookie Second Team following a productive first season in D.C. He has failed to develop much since, though the onus for that can’t totally be placed on him, as he’s been stuck in a fairly dysfunctional system while with the Wiz.

Tonight, Hachimura is facing off against one of the few other Japanese pros in the league, sharpshooting Brooklyn Nets forward Yuta Watanabe.

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