Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and eight other breakout players at the 2023 FIBA World Cup

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A former star at Washington State with minimal NBA draft buzz, Josh Hawkinson was an unlikely choice for Japan’s naturalized player spot. But the 28-year-old big man, who has played in the Asian country his whole professional career, should be now close to untouchable. As one of the tournament’s leading rebounders, Hawkinson has provided much-needed muscle and inside presence for a team that lacked both, while also showing some potential to stretch the floor. If Japan qualifies for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Hawkinson will have another opportunity to showcase his skills to the world.

Stats: 23.3 ppg, 12.0 rpb, 1.0 bpg, 70.0 FG% and 14.3 3P% in three games

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