On Monday, the Washington Mystics announced that they signed Japanese point guard Rui Machida to the roster, completing their training camp roster per an image they were consistently using to share their lineup. The news was first reported by Kareem Copeland of The Washington Post in the early hours of the morning.
After quite a bit of work, the Washington Mystics are signing Japanese star Rui Machida as their backup PG. She helped Japan win silver at the 2020 Summer Olympics. At 5-foot-4, she set the Olympic single-game record w 18 assists. The 28-year-old will be making her #WNBA debut.— Kareem Copeland (@kareemcopeland) February 14, 2022
To us as Mystics and American WNBA fans, she is best known as Team Nippon’s starting point guard in the 2020 Olympics where the Japanese won the silver medal, while defeating medal threats Belgium and France along the way. She averaged 7.2 points, 12.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds in the Olympics and was one of the best performers in the games overall.
Machida is playing professionally for Fujitsu Red Wave in the Japanese Basketball League. She is averaging 10.7 points on .590 percent shooting, 8.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game, according to a release by the team.
General Manager and Mike Thibault said the following in their press release:
Rui is a very exciting signing for us. She is one of the most dynamic point guards in the world and perfectly fits our style of play. She pushes the tempo offensively and creates great opportunities for her teammates both in transition and in the half court. We can pair her with any of our guards to give us different looks with our lineups. Her teammates will love playing with her and our fans will love watching her play.
Assuming Machida makes the Mystics’ opening day roster (I hope she does given her play last summer), she could make Washington, D.C. an even bigger basketball city from their eyes than they already do. Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura was the star of the Japanese men’s national team in last year’s Olympics, and he has been a major part of Washington’s teams as well since he entered the NBA in 2019.
I’m looking forward to seeing Machida play for Washington in training camp and hopefully this season. She is just 5’4, which is very short. But as we saw in the Olympics, skilled players, no matter their height, will make their impact known.
DCへようこそ, Rui! (Welcome to DC, Rui!)