Basketball / NBA

Rookie Rui Hachimura to wear No. 8 for Wizards

Kyodo

Rookie Rui Hachimura will wear No. 8 for the Washington Wizards, the NBA team said Wednesday.

The Wizards made the announcement on their official Twitter account, posting a photo of the 21-year-old forward wearing a jersey bearing the number along with his name.

Written in Japanese, Hachimura’s name includes the kanji character for eight. “Hachi = 8 in Japanese,” the team explained in a subsequent tweet.

Hachimura wore No. 21 at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he became a collegiate star over three seasons.

Speaking on the second day of the Wizards’ minicamp on Wednesday, the team’s Summer League coach Robert Pack gave his first impressions of Hachimura.

“Rui’s a guy that, you know, you can tell he knows how to play. He has good footwork, he wants to learn, he’s asking questions,” said Pack, an assistant coach with the franchise.

“I feel good about him being able to pick up a lot of the things early on and be able to (take that) into Summer League.”

One of the concerns with Hachimura’s game coming into the league is his ability to handle the basketball. When asked about his player’s development in that area, Pack said he is ready to help.

“If I need to be the guy to get with Rui to work on his ball handling … that’s definitely an area that I work with a lot and specialize in,” said Pack, a former point guard who spent 13 seasons in the NBA.

“I’m sure I will at some point touch with him in terms of ball handling and decision making.”

The Toyama Prefecture native, the ninth pick in the NBA draft, is expected to feature heavily for Washington at the NBA Summer League, which starts next week in Las Vegas.