Gonzaga University forward Rui Hachimura was named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team for the first time on Tuesday.
The Japan-born player was one of 10 players on the conference’s men’s all-star team, along with Gonzaga teammates Johnathan Williams (senior forward) and Josh Perkins (junior guard). Bulldogs head coach Mark Few earned his 12th WCC Coach of the Year accolade as well.
Gonzaga wrapped up its regular season with a 79-65 win over Brigham Young University on Saturday and captured its sixth straight regular-season conference title. The team finished with a 27-4 record (17-1 in the conference) and is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation.
Hachimura, a Toyama native who was born to a Japanese mother and a Beninese father, averaged 11.4 points and 4.4 rebounds with a field goal percentage of 58.5, playing in all 31 games in the regular season with one start in the 2017-18 season. The 20-year-old scored a season-high 23 points twice this season for the Spokane, Washington, school.
Hachimura has been tipped to ultimately be drafted by an NBA team.
An NBA scout told The Japan Times last December that Hachimura’s “potential as a wing is intriguing.”
“He is skilled for his size and has the foot speed and athleticism to make the transition to the perimeter,” the scout said. “He is at his best in an up-tempo pace, so his game translates more to the next level.”
NBADraft.net places Hachimura as the fifth overall pick in its mock draft for 2019. When asked whether Hachimura should stay at Gonzaga even if he has a chance to go to the NBA after his sophomore campaign, the NBA scout said in the same December interview, “He hasn’t done much in college yet, so an extra year would not hurt him. But it’s way too early to tell.”
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