The NBA's Orlando restart is now in sight. And with one of the Washington Wizards' rising stars, Rui Hachimura, being a 22-year-old from Japan, the team saw it fitting to sit down with another 22-year-old sports icon: tennis' Naomi Osaka.
In a short interview, Osaka discussed Hachimura, the Black Lives Matter movement, her own basketball experiences and more.
"I think he's a perfect role model," she said about Hachimura, who in 2019 became the first Japanese player to be drafted in the opening round. "He's hardworking, he seems to really love basketball a lot, and I think in times of hardship people love to look up to someone. And I think he's perfect for that."
"I've played basketball a little bit when I was younger," Osaka also said. "Not officially on a team, just on a public basketball court because my dad used to play and he thought it would be a fun off-training, I guess. But I wasn't really good at it at all."
Osaka did demonstrate some serious shooting skills on Instagram this summer, albeit not with proper basketball equipment:
The Wizards, sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference, resume their season on Friday versus the Phoenix Suns.
"I would say that I am excited, Osaka said of the league's return. "But I hope everyone stays safe, and I hope they're taking all the precautions that they can."
Check out the latest episode of the TENNIS.com Podcast with Julia Elbaba: