Paolo Banchero has entered through the big door in the history of the NBA after being selected by the Orlando Magic with the number 1 of the 2022 Draftunseating at the last moment the great favorite Jabari Smith Jr., who was finally drafted with the number 3 by the Houston Rockets.
“Banchero is a winner and the most versatile player in the Draft”
Banchero, who was born on November 12, 2022 in Seattle (Washington), enrolled at Duke University after standing out as a football quarterback and being a high school basketball star at O’Dea High School.
In his only year under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, together with whom he reached the NCAA Final Four, this promising 2.08 m. and 19 years old he averaged an interesting 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.
“He’s a winner and he’s the most versatile player in the draft,” Krzyzewski said of his pupil.
Paolo Banchero: “Playing with Italy is a pride for me”
Paolo Napoleon James Bankeris the son of a father of Italian origin and an American mother, so he has already been called up by Italy to defend the colors of his team.
His mother, Ronda Smith-Banchero, was an outstanding NCAA basketball player who was selected in the WNBA Draft.
The new star of the Orlando Magic, who has an Italian passport, has already declared on occasion that his intention is to defend the colors of the ‘Nazionale’.
“Playing with the ‘azzurra’ is a source of pride for me because my family feels Italian. Now I have a passport and I can’t wait to start. See you soon, Italy,” said Banchero in 2020.
“I want to thank the Italian fans, I felt their love and support throughout the season. I repeat that I will play for the national team, not this summer but the next one. A promise? Of course, don’t worry,” said Banchero dressed in Dolce & Gabbana after the draft ceremony to ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’.
“I am very proud to be able to represent Italy in the NBA,” he said.