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Wizards’ Scott Brooks compares Rui Hachimura to a ‘seven or eight-year vet’

Scott Brooks, Rui Hachimura, Wizards

Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks raved about rookie Rui Hachimura, who has been on a roll on his last three games. The Gonzaga product shined against the Philadelphia 76ers, dropping 27 points, seven rebounds, and two steals in a 119-113 win, prompting some praise from the coach.

“He’s like a seven- or eight-year vet. He just chips away at the game, every time,” Broooks said of the rookie, according to The Associated Press. “He’s a winner. He just plays the right way. He plays hard. He plays for his team. He’s not searching for stats. He just competes. And he wants to get better. He knows he has a lot to learn and he’s a sponge out there. He wants to improve.”

Despite being a three-year college player, the 6-foot-8 forward has had plenty to learn upon arriving in the NBA, like sliding his feet and staying down on opponents’ shot fakes.

“He’s good now, as a young player.” said Brooks. “When you’re a young player, everything is coming at you so fast. And you’re learning so many things on the fly,” Brooks said. “And he’s going to improve. His basketball IQ is high, but it’s going to get better, just through all the experience.”

Hachimura is averaging 24 points and 7.3 rebounds in December after a career-high 30-point explosion on Sunday in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, becoming the third rookie to reach that mark this season after Ja Morant and Eric Paschall.

He’s averaging a shade under 40 minutes per game this month after an injury sidelined starting center Thomas Bryant, forcing him into heavy frontcourt minutes.