Wizards forward Rui Hachimura is one of the most prominent athletes in Japan, so either way the Olympics in Tokyo were going to be a special time for him with a lot of attention from fans and media.
Friday morning may have been the moment he will remember most, as he was the flag bearer for the host country of Japan during the opening ceremony.
Dressed in a white sport coat with red pants, Hachimura carried the flag along with wrestler Yui Sasaki. Here are some pictures:
Hachimura, 23, is expected to be the lead scoring option for Team Japan, which begins Olympic play on Monday against Spain. Japan has never medaled in Olympic men's basketball.
But after beating France in an exhibition game, Japan has high hopes entering the Summer Games. Hachimura was the first Japanese player ever drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft and he has a chance to take the country's basketball program to new heights.