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2019 NBA Draft: Rui Hachimura chosen by the Washington Wizards with ninth pick

It has been a great three years and we can’t wait to see you in the NBA.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Rui Hachimura is officially the first Japanese-born player to ever be selected in the NBA Draft. The Washington Wizards chose the Gonzaga Bulldogs junior forward with the No. 9 pick.

The three-year evolution of Hachimura is now complete at the collegiate level, and the beginning of this professional career is just getting started. Rui led the Zags top-rated offense with 19.7 points per game, chipping in 6.5 rebounds as well.

For the Spokane faithful, it was a beauty of a year to watch. The hype has been there for Hachimura from the beginning, but there was plenty of seasoning and work required for the potential to be fulfilled. Hachimura averaged just 2.6 points in 4.6 minutes per game his freshman year. Those numbers bumped up to 11.6 points in 20.7 minutes his sophomore season.

That was always the plan, however, and in year three, the coaching staff unleashed Rui. He demonstrated his elite level athleticism and strength on a nightly basis, creating offense and running the floor with the best of the big men.

The Wizards are getting a player who has an incredibly high ceiling, but still needs some work put in, especially on the defensive end. Hachimura has the length and mobility to be a quality defender in the NBA. If he demonstrates an ability to consistently hit a three-pointer, he will be right up there with the more versatile scorers in the pros.