Number 1 in the draft, the strong winger of the Magic, Paolo Banchero (19) does not lack assets at the end of his good season with Duke.
Banchero assumed his college star status
Throughout the 2021/2022 season, he has established himself as one of the best players in the NCAA. In its wake, Duke finished the regular season in 1st place in the ACC conference. During March Madness, the level of play for the 2022 ACC Rookie of the Year was even at its peak. Banchero posted crazy averages of 18.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists! And even if his team was eliminated in the semi-finals by the North Carolina Tar Heels, we still saw a Banchero on top (20 points and 10 rebounds).
He follows a prestigious line
Paolo Banchero is anchored in the illustrious line of players selected in the first row by the Orlando Magic like before him Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber or Dwight Howard for example.
Banchero got ahead of some great players
For months, the middle of the NBA announced the interior Jabari Smith Jr in Orlando (finally in Houston in 3rd position). It is therefore ultimately the former No. 5 of the University team of Duke who was chosen in 1st position by this franchise. Mobile, very powerful, Banchero was presented as one of the most accomplished players of this draft. He achieved the feat of overtaking Chet Holmgren (chosen by Oklahoma in 2nd position)
It brings sports guarantees
Author of two very accomplished matches in the Summer League, against Houston (17 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists), and Sacramento (23 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals), Paolo Banchero showed great things. “I’m happy with my performance, but I can still improve on many aspects. I lost a lot of balls in the second game. I can still be in better physical condition as well.”
Banchero wants to play for Italy
Great-grandson of an Italian national, Paolo Banchero was born in the United States in Seattle, Washington. He obtained Italian nationality in February 2020. He indicated that he wanted to wear the colors of the transalpine selection in the future: “I am really proud to have Italian roots and to be able to represent Italy”.
He walks in the footsteps of another Italian
Before him, another Italian had already been chosen first in the draft. This is Andrea Bargnani (first European drafted as first choice). The latter was taken by Toronto in 2006 and played in particular Me I was born and I grew up in Seattle ”.
His mother passed on his passion for basketball
Rhonda Smith-Banchero is a former basketball player. She evolved at the faculty of Washington (being the most prolific scorer in the history of the program). Then she was drafted in the 3rd round of the WNBA draft in 2000. She notably wore the colors of the Sacramento Monarchs.
Banchero is very ambitious
In a Florida team in full reconstruction, Paolo Banchero is well aware that he will not transform everything on his own. “If I manage to influence the Magic positively and we have a better season than last year (15th in the Eastern Conference, Editor’s note), it will already be very good. I want to be recognized as a winner, someone we want to see play and with whom we want to play because I will make my teammates shine”.
A physical monster
Culminating at 2m08 for 113 kg at only 19 years old, Banchero is a force of nature. At 15 months, he was already 91 centimeters tall! “The thing I observed the most about him was his will and his understanding of the game, analyzes coach Jamahl Mosley for USA Today. He’s a fantastic teammate. He pushes guys and he tries to learn the ropes in the NBA. He has a lot to deal with, but he manages to take it all well. He is not afraid to ask questions and he wants to learn. He’s a very tough guy. To be honest, I don’t think he knows how tough he is! “.
Banchero played American football
If he is going to give himself up to make a name for himself in the NBA, Paolo Napoleon James Banchero (his full name) tasted American football when he was younger. His father wore the colors of the Huskies and those of Washington University. The young Banchero was a quarterback with certain qualities, champion of his state!