Rui Hachimura signs with Jordan Brand
Rui Hachimura made history on Thursday night, becoming the first Japanese-born player to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. Now that the Washington Wizards rookie has an endorsement deal with one of the most iconic basketball outfitters in the world, too, it seems only a matter of time until his star shines even brighter.
Jordan Brand announced on twitter Friday that Hachimura is the newest member of team Jumpman.
Welcome to the Future of Flight, @Rui_8Mura.
— Jordan (@Jumpman23) June 21, 2019
ESPN sneaker guru Nick DePaula offered further insight on Jordan’s interest in Hachimura, alluding to his popularity in Japan and the forthcoming Olympic Games as two of the many reasons he was signed.
Washington Wizards 1st Round pick Rui Hachimura has signed a multi-year shoe deal with Jordan Brand.
The brand is excited for his potential on & off the court and his global fanbase in Japan, which will host the 2020 Olympics.
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) June 21, 2019
The Gonzaga University product was selected ninth overall by the Wizards, somewhat of a surprise considering he was consistently mocked as a mid first-round pick throughout the pre-draft process.
Hachimura was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and first team All-American during his final year with the Bulldogs, who 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. Relatively new to basketball, Washington seems to believe he has some untapped potential as a scorer given his draft position, too.