Lakers' Hachimura will wear No. 28 jersey

In US professional basketball, new Los Angeles Lakers acquisition Hachimura Rui will wear the number 28 jersey. The Japanese player has expressed his delight to be a member of the team.

Hachimura on Monday was traded from the Washington Wizards, to which he belonged to for three-and-a-half years.

The Lakers the following day posted a photo of Hachimura wearing the team jersey on social media, introducing him as the first Japanese player in Lakers' history.

In the Wizards, Hachimura wore the number 8 jersey, which was donned by Lakers' legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident in 2020. Hachimura had to choose another number since the Lakers have retired Bryant's jersey number.

The forward, who did not play in Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers, said in both Japanese and English that he is "so happy to be part of this family."

He added he looks forward to meeting Laker fans.

Hachimura will face fellow Japanese Watanabe Yuta of the Brooklyn Nets in New York next Monday.