Paolo Bankero and Jamal Crawford have a long friendship, as the former NBA veteran has given plenty of advice to the recent No. 1 pick over the years.
Banchero recently shared this information in an interview.
Both were born in Seattle, Washington and often represent their hometown. Banchero even competed in Crawford’s annual pro league. last year and planned come back on saturday on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.
The three-time NBA Sixth Player of the Year has known Banchero since high school. He even predicted Banchero would be the best choice back in early June, long before Orlando Magic shocked the world and chose him first.
Banchero talking to Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the All Smoke podcastrevealed some of the advice Crawford gave him back in high school.
From my freshman year of high school, he kind of took me under his wing and started taking me to the gym and letting me play pro games and all the pickup trucks and stuff when I was 15. that time (NBA) seemed so far away, but he said, “High school will fly by.” It’s closer than you think. You just have to start preparing for it now, even if it seems like a long way off. You must lock yourself up now.
It set things up in a new way and kind of made me take it even more seriously. I was always working in the gym and trying to fulfill my dream, but that’s when I started to really take care of my body and do the right thing, because he talked to me about it all the time.
Of course, after high school, Banchero became an All-American during his only season at Duke. The Magic viewed him as the best collegiate player in the country after his performance and decided to take him to the draft board on June 23 accordingly.
Banchero shone with the Magic in the Las Vegas Summer League before the team shut him down after two games. He averaged 20 points, six assists, five rebounds, 2.5 steals and one block per game to finish with 23 points on July 9.
His roots in the Pacific Northwest have certainly helped him become the player he is today. With the likes of Crawford, Isaiah Thomas, DeJonte Murray and a few others showing up in the area, Bunchero is poised to be the next great player to hit the NBA.
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