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Steve Kerr claims Rui Hachimura has a bright future during World Cup run

Steve Kerr, Rui Hachimura

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura played extremely well for Japan at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, and Steve Kerr has taken notice.

Japan entered this year’s FIBA tournament with a No. 48 world ranking, which was among the lowest in the competition. Despite that fact, Hachimura’s exciting level of play brought a spotlight to the team.

The Japanese side failed to claim a victory in its five games, but several NBA aficionados, including Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, were impressed with Hachimura’s set of skills.

Via NBA.com:

“He’s unbelievably athletic,” said Team USA assistant and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “He has a lot of natural ability, and now it’s a matter of building on his skill set. I’m looking forward to seeing him develop. He has a bright future.”

In June, Hachimura became the first player from Japan to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. The 21-year-old played in three games at this year’s FIBA tournament, averaging 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. His numbers were good, but it was his situational awareness that was truly impressive. Opposing sides chose to double him on most occasions. As a result, he shot 20 free throws in three appearances.

Oh, and he also had this nasty jam over Myles Turner:

Though the Japanese struggled in FIBA play, Hachimura says he is excited for his rookie season with the Wizards:

“I’m really looking forward to the season,” said Hachimura. “I need to prepare as best I can. I’m not yet sure exactly how I’ll be asked to help the team, but I’ll do whatever I can.”

The Wizards finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 32-50 overall record, which left the team out of playoff contention. Hopefully, with Hachimura aboard and an offseason to prepare, Washington will find its way back into the hunt.