Corey Kispert will have a familiar face on Wizards in Rui Hachimura originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Corey Kispert won’t have to worry about being in a sea of unfamiliar faces for his first time in a Wizards locker room.
As soon as the Wizards made Kispert the 15th overall pick in Thursday’s draft, the questions about Rui Hachimura immediately began to come up since the two played together at Gonzaga for two seasons. Hachimura was the Wizards’ first round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and now Kispert will follow in his footsteps.
“Rui and I are really good friends,” Kispert said. “I spent two years with him in Spokane and he was always very gracious and nice to me, even when he left and started playing for the Wizards. We’re still good friends today. Looking forward to playing with him and actually stepping on the floor again with him.”
Kispert played for one of college basketball’s best programs, meaning he played with and against some of the best players in the country in his time as a Bulldog. He puts Hachimura in that category as well.
“Rui Hachimura is a case and point, right?” Kispert said. “He was a star player at Gonzaga and I spent a lot of my first two years learning to play behind guys like that, how to play with a guy like Rui, or play with somebody similar to a game like his. I spent a lot of time working on it.”
Hachimura, in his second year as a pro, averaged 13.8 points per game with 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 57 games (all starts). Headed into his third year, he’ll look to take the next step in a youthful Wizards lineup.
And he’ll have his college teammate right next to him once again.
“What a fierce competitor and a fierce athlete, and a guy I can’t wait to play with,” Hachimura said. “That chemistry that we built over the two years at Gonzaga, you’re going to kind of see that pick up where we left off as soon as I get to Washington.”