1st-round NBA pick Hachimura scores 35 points in Japan's win

CHIBA, Japan (AP) -- First-round NBA draft pick Rui Hachimura scored 35 points to lead Japan to a 99-89 win over New Zealand in World Cup warm-up game at Port Chiba Arena.

Hachimura became the first player from Japan to be chosen in the first round of the NBA draft, taken with the No. 9 overall pick by the rebuilding Washington Wizards in June.

The former Gonzaga University star played in the NBA's Summer League for the Wizards but now will take up national duties for Japan at the World Cup and for other warm-up games, including New Zealand again on Wednesday.

''We got off to a good start and went from there ... I want to lead this team,'' Hachimura said after Monday's game. ''I'm just happy to be back in Japan after a while for these friendly games.''

The 21-year-old from Toyama Prefecture scored 22 points in the first half and impressed Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey.

''I think he's going to be a heck of a player, the NBA is a physical game, a tough game. He's got a great body for the NBA,'' Casey, who is in Japan for a coaching clinic and was at the game as a spectator, told Kyodo News.

''I see Rui ... developing his game to move out to the 3-point line. Because that's where the NBA is. Great kid, great work ethic.''

Tai Webster led New Zealand with 18 points.

Japan played without Memphis Grizzlies' forward Yuta Watanabe, who has an ankle injury.

Japan opens its World Cup competition against Turkey on Sept. 1 in Shanghai and then takes on Czech Republic and the United States. The top two teams in the group advance to the second round.


More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports


More Related News

Atlanta Hawks promote, extend contract of GM Travis Schlenk
Atlanta Hawks promote, extend contract of GM Travis Schlenk

This is a smart decision by the Hawks, he has built a promising young team.

Cameron Reddish quadruples Zion Williamson
Cameron Reddish quadruples Zion Williamson's vote total for 'best career' in NBA rookie survey

Williamson didn't get a majority of votes for Rookie of the Year prediction either, though he at least led that category.

Who are the best basketball prospects that have yet to play in the NBA?
Who are the best basketball prospects that have yet to play in the NBA?

In conjunction with PBT's breakdown of the top 50 players in 2024, here is a look at the next crop of elite American players to enter the NBA.

NBCSports.com's 50 best NBA players in 5 years: Players 50-46

In this first five is the next up-and-coming big thing, Emoni Bates.

Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor to host
Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor to host 'NBA Countdown'

Nichols is an NBA favorite, so having her be more visible makes a lot of sense.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Basketball

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.