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Basketball: Hachimura named District IX Player of the Year

Rui Hachimura of the Gonzaga Bulldogs dunks against the Saint Mary's Gaels during the championship game of the West Coast Conference basketball tournament on March 12, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Getty/Kyodo)

LOS ANGELES (Kyodo) -- Japanese forward Rui Hachimura was named District IX Player of the Year for the 2018-2019 NCAA men's basketball season, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced Tuesday.

The 21-year-old junior, who helped lead Gonzaga University to its seventh straight West Coast Conference regular season title, was chosen as the top player in a district including California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Arizona and Arkansas.

The USBWA has selected all-district teams, player and coach of the year for each of the nine geographic districts in the United States since 1956-1957 based on votes from its national members.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few was named the District IX's Coach of the Year.

Last week, Hachimura was named the WCC Player of the Year as Gonzaga swept the league's individual honors. The 2.03-meter forward has averaged 20.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game this season, shooting 61.1 percent from the floor in more than 30 minutes per game.

Despite the honors, the No. 1 Bulldogs saw their 21-game winning streak ended Tuesday after being upset by Saint Mary's 60-47 in the WCC Tournament final. Hachimura was held to a season-low 9 points, more than 11 under his average.

The team's NCAA Tournament seeding will be announced this weekend on Selection Sunday.

Hachimura was born in Toyama Prefecture to a Japanese mother and Beninese father. The junior is considered among the top prospects likely to make themselves available in the 2019 NBA Draft.

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