Potential top-10 pick Rui Hachimura declares for draft
Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura has declared the for the 2019 NBA draft. In a statement announcing the news, the junior forward thanked the school, basketball program, and city of Spokane, WA for his time with the Bulldogs, in addition to to those from his native Japan who have shown him support.
“The last three years at Gonzaga have been a dream come true, and now I’d like to pursue my next dream of playing in the NBA,” Hachimura said. “This was a significant decision for my family and myself. I just want to thank everyone at Gonzaga, especially the coaching staff and all of my teammates who went to battle with me and are my brothers for life. My three years as a Zag were very special and something I will never forget. I want to thank Zag nation and Spokane, Washington, for all of the love and support, and to the people of Japan who have been there cheering me on the whole way. Forever a Zag.”
Hachimura was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and first team All-American during his final year with Gonzaga, which fell 75-69 to eventual national runner-up Texas Tech in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in 2018-19, shooting 59.1 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc, albeit on a relatively volume of three-point attempts.
At 6-foot-8 with a solid build and long wingspan, Hachimura profiles as a top-tier role player at next level, capable of guarding multiple positions from power forward, attacking open space with straight line drives, and knocking down open jumpers. He’s a likely top-20 pick, and could see his stock rise during the pre-draft process should he show improved consistency with his perimeter jumper.