FIBANews: Rui Hachimura to sit out FIBA World Cup

Another huge blow for the 2023 FIBA World Cup with Japan’s star Rui Hachimura bowing out of the tournament

By Johnny Askounis/

Focusing on free agency, Rui Hachimura will not play for Japan in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. His home country serving among the hosts delivers an additional blow.

“I have made the decision to withdraw from this year’s FIBA World Cup,” said the leading star of the Japan national team via the Japan Basketball Association, “It was a very difficult decision, but after the last season stretching into the Playoffs, I decided to prioritize my future in the NBA and prepare for my first free agency. In addition, I will focus on working this summer to prepare for the next season.”

Hachimura, 25, is set to become a restricted free agent. He was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Los Angeles Lakers last January, midway through his fourth NBA season.

“I would like to thank everyone involved, the JBA and head coach Tom Hovasse for their understanding of my decision,” he added on skipping the World Cup in favor of locking into his NBA career, “I would like to wish my teammates of the Japan national basketball team the best of luck and supported them more than anybody else.”

In a recent similar development, Victor Wembanyama opted to forego the World Cup as well. The French prodigy, selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the first overall pick of the 2023 NBA draft, will instead focus on preparing for the 2023-24 NBA season.

Representing Japan in major international tournaments, Hachimura competed in the 2020 Olympic Games and the 2019 FIBA World Cup.


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