Rui Hachimura drafted ninth overall by the Washington Wizards

Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura will be headed to the Washington Wizards after being selected ninth overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

He is the first Japanese-born basketball player to ever be drafted in the first round.

Rui was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and a first team All-American. Most draft experts say he has a high ceiling because of his youth, athleticism and the fact that he is still pretty new to American basketball.

His improvement was on display all year, as a sophomore he came off the bench for the Zags, but became their leading scorer this year, averaging 19.7 points a game and 6.5 rebounds.

In the hours leading up to the draft on Thursday, most mock drafts had him being selected after his fellow frontcourt teammate, Brandon Clarke.

This will be the first time Gonzaga has ever had two players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in the same year. The most recent first-round pick was Zach Collins in 2017 by the Portland Trailblazers.

From Gonzaga Athletics:

Hachimura was the highest Bulldog draft choice since Adam Morrison was the third overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006.

Hachimura made history, becoming the first Japanese player to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. He joined Gonzaga in 2016 as the fifth Japanese-born men’s NCAA Division I player, and became the first Japanese national to play in the NCAA Tournament in 2017.

Hachimura was named the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award winner. He was the 2019 West Coast Conference Player of the Year and the USBWA District IX Player of the Year. He was named first team All-American by the NABC and the USBWA, and Wooden All-American. He averaged 19.7 points per game this past season, shooting 59.1 percent from the field. Hachimura added 6.5 rebounds per game and finished with 27 blocks. He made 63.5 percent of his shots from the field in conference play, which ranked fourth in the league.

Hachimura scored 1,230 points in 102 appearances in a Zag uniform. He made 57.9 percent of his shots from the field over the past three seasons, which ranks seventh in program history. He grabbed 452 rebounds during his three years at GU. Following his sophomore season, Hachimura was named NABC All-District Second Team and First Team All-WCC. He scored in double-digits 58 times as a Bulldog, reaching 20 or more points 26 times.

Hachimura was the eighth Zag to be drafted in the first round, joining John Stockton in 1984 (16th overall pick, Utah Jazz), Dan Dickau in 2002 (28th overall pick, Sacramento Kings), Adam Morrison in 2006 (3rd overall pick, Charlotte Bobcats), Austin Daye in 2009 (15th overall pick, Detroit Pistons), Kelly Olynyk in 2013 (13th overall pick, Dallas Mavericks), Domantas Sabonis in 2016 (11th overall pick, Orlando Magic) and Zach Collins in 2017 (10th overall pick, Sacramento Kings). Ian Mahinmi was a first round pick and 28th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 2005. Mahinmi had signed a letter-of-intent to attend Gonzaga for the 2005-06 season, but never enrolled in school.

Hachimura is the 23rd GU player selected in the NBA Draft all-time. Collins and Nigel Williams-Goss were the last Bulldogs drafted in 2017.