Who is Yuki Kawamura, the Japanese talent not picked in the 2023 NBA Draft?

Yuki Kawamura (Japanese National Basketball Player)
Yuki Kawamura (Japanese National Basketball Player)

Team Japan guard Yuki Kawamura saved the day against Finland, helping his team earn a 98-88 victory, thereby eliminating Finland from medal contention in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

With Japan trailing by 10 in the third quarter, the 5-foot-8 point guard came to the team's rescue, making clutch shots to save them from elimination. Kawamura had 25 points while dishing out nine assists and draining four shots from deep.

Japan will face Australia in their next game.

Yuki is an undersized 5-foot-8 guard and was the leading Japanese player in this year's mock draft, which included as many as 130 players.

Playing in the B-League, the highest level of competition in Japanese basketball, Yuki is considered to be the best national player.

He averaged 19 points and 8 assists for the Yokohama B-Corsairs while shooting 41.8% from the field and 34.4% from deep.

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Since Kawamura is just 5'8", his path to the NBA will be littered with obstacles. The last undersized point guard to have a solid career on the NBA hardwood was 5-foot-10 Argentinian, Facundo Campazzo.

Isaiah Thomas, at 5-foot-9, also had a solid career, making it to two All-Star teams and leading the Celtics to the playoffs.

Yuki Kawamura has the athleticism, which at his size would translate to better speed, quickness, and versatility.

Yuki Kawamura (Instagram)
Yuki Kawamura (Instagram)

Kawamura knows his way around the bucket and has the ability to make shots over taller defenders. The pace is quite different in the NBA compared to Japan. Given the average height of an NBA player is 6-foot-6, Kawamura will definitely have a tough time trying to adapt.

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Edited by Krutik Jain