NBA rookie Rui Hachimura has expressed determination to be part of a successful Japanese men's national basketball team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
He met reporters in Tokyo on Monday, almost one year before the Games kick off.
He said he looks forward to seeing how Japan's basketball players compete with other teams.
In June, Hachimura became the first Japanese player to be picked in the first round of the NBA draft. In the Summer League for young players in Las Vegas, he scored an average of nearly 20 points per game for the Washington Wizards.
Hachimura returned to Japan last week. He met reporters after signing a sponsorship deal with a major food manufacturer in Japan.
He said he is pleased to have inked the deal, and that he feels positive about Japanese basketball gaining more attention.
The 21-year old said he has longed to play for the national team at the Tokyo Games, as well as in the NBA, ever since he started playing basketball.
Hachimura said there are many fine players in Japan, who have a good chance of beating some of the world's more renowned teams.