Despite Shielding His Parents From the Public Eye, Lakers Starboy Rui Hachimura’s Name Has Secret Connect to a Non-NBA Sport and His Family

Published 01/25/2023, 3:30 PM EST
Mar 10, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) shoots against Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) during the second half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Rui Hachimura of Gonzaga recently made history. He joined the Los Angeles Lakers from the Washington Wizards a few days ago and became the first Japanese international to play for the franchise. Hachimura has roots in Japan and spent most of his childhood there with his parents and three siblings. He has been playing basketball in the United States of America since 2016 and quickly became a promising talent. Interestingly, his name, which comes from his mother’s side has a special connection to a sport. 

Although Hachimura’s father belongs to Benin, he uses a Japanese name that comes from his mother. His grandfather happened to be a fan of baseball, one of the biggest sports in Japan, and his grandfather’s love for baseball played a huge role in Rui Hachimura’s namesake.

The special meaning behind Rui Hachimura’s name


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Makiko and Zakari Jabil gave birth to a future Laker on February 8, 1998. However, not much is known about Rui Hachimura’s parents. The 2019-20 All-NBA Rookie has shielded them from the public eye quite brilliantly.

The talented youngster uses his mother’s Japanese name which translates to “base” or “fortress.” This is a reference to the game of baseball, as Hachimura’s grandfather was a huge fan of the sport.


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Moreover, his kit number also has a special hidden meaning. “Hachi” in Japanese translates to 8, which is the number Rui sported for the Washington Wizards. This exciting new player is expected to have his debut for the Lakers very soon. Rui Hachimura could feature for the Lakers when they take on the San Antonio Spurs on the 26th of January.

Hachimura gave hints before making his move to the Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers were looking at options to strengthen their wings and add size to the bench. Hachimura’s profile met the team’s demands. Moreover, it seems he was interested in making the switch as well.


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Feb 22, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

During an interview, the 6-foot-8 inches tall big man said, “I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player, and I want to be somewhere that likes my game, you know?” 

Hachimura finally made the jump from the Wizards to the Lakers on the 24th of January. The Lakers sent Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to acquire the Japanese star.


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Abhinava Ghosh

1297 articles

Abhinava is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication. Abhinava has been following NBA for the past 6 years and is a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry.