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NBA superstar Curry targets Tokyo Olympics

NBA superstar Curry targets Tokyo Olympics”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver greets Japan's Rui Hachimura, of Gonzaga, after the Washington Wizards selected him as the ninth pick overall in the NBA basketball draft Thursday, June 20, 2019, in NY.

Curry was in Tokyo for a youth basketball clinic and was asked about Rui Hachimura, who became the first player from Japan picked in the first round of the NBA draft when he was taken with the No. 9 overall pick by the rebuilding Washington Wizards on Thursday.

Duke hooper Zion Williamson was snapped up by the New Orleans Pelicans as top pick.

The Gonzaga University forward was born in Toyama Prefecture in central Japan to a Japanese mother and a Beninese father.

"It's been insane", he said this week ahead of the draft.

"The story is still going", Curry said.

Hachimura, much like other Japanese sports stars including figure skating's Yuzuru Hanyu and tennis' Naomi Osaka, has attracted massive amounts of attention from his home press corps with 46 members of the press representing 23 outlets present in Brooklyn.

He switched between English and Japanese as he answered reporters' questions. He never appeared in a regular-season game, something just two players from the country have done: Yuta Tabuse for the Phoenix Suns in 2004-05, and Yuta Watanabe for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2018-19.

Hachimura was not a highly touted prospect out of school in Japan and played three years with Gonzaga.

His stellar performance on the team earned him the West Coast Conference Player of the Year award, the Naismith Award finalist title and inclusion into the First-Team All-American.

"It's exciting for the National Basketball Association to have representation from Japan and countries all over the world", said Curry, twice voted the NBA's most valuable player, but coming off a stinging Finals defeat by the Toronto Raptors.

That's an opportunity that will be hard to pass on for the man who hopes to be the face of Japanese basketball.

Sato recalls that when Hachimura's teammate started crying during a time-out for failing to shoot a basket, Hachimura held the teammate's head gently and said, "I'll score a point on your behalf".

The beauty of Men's Basketball A chance to enjoy the official promo for the coverage of men's basketball at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.



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