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Who is Paolo Banchero, the 19-year-old Italian chosen by the Orlando Magic

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Who is Paolo Banchero, the 19-year-old Italian chosen by the Orlando Magic
Written by aquitodovale

from Flavio Vanetti and Sport editorial team

Turning 20 in November, raised in Seattle, the big wing son of art but followed his brother who plays in the Philippines

Paolo Banchero, first choice of the NBA draft – the mechanism by which the 30 teams of the American basketball championship choose the new players – born in Seattle on November 12, 2002. The new big forward of the Orlando Magic Italian citizen since June 2020 – father of Ligurian origin by great-grandparents and mother (former Wnba basketball player) American – and 208 cm tall and weighs 113 kilos.

The NCAA and the debut with a bang

This year, as a rookie, he played at Duke University, averaging 17.2 points per game and becoming a centerpiece of the team that reached the NCAA Final Four with him in New Orleans. But Duke stopped in the semifinals, defeated 81-77 by the archrival of North Carolina. Banchero – his full name, Paolo Napoleon James – is moreover, in that game he scored 20 points and captured 10 rebounds. The NCAA has placed him in the best quintet of the league.

High school and football

Done at O’Dea High School in Seattle, where he also tried football (a sport played by his father). He was an All Star, averaging 20+ points per game and various individual accolades.

The national team

Once he became an Italian citizen, two years ago, Banchero gave us a great gift by announcing that he will wear the blue of the national team and not the US tank top. After all, Italy has always been a presence in his family. Starting with the Ligurian grandparents to continue with his father Mario, now the owner of a butcher’s shop, who, as mentioned, is a former football player as well as being the husband of Rhonda Smith, a listed former basketball player. The grandparents had emigrated to the US at the beginning of the twentieth century to work in the coal mines. After all, Paolo is proud of his dual citizenship and posts his photo on social media while exhibiting the two passports, even if the doubt remains that it is a move by the agent to raise the quotations and give a positive image of the boy, who last November he was detained for one night by the police for lending his car to Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski’s nephew (who ended his career after the Final Four): but his friend didn’t have a driver’s license and, moreover, he had been drinking.

Sure of s

On the eve of the draft he declared (to Gazzetta dello Sport) to feel confident that I am first choice because I am the best player available, and so I was.

The influence of mother Rhonda

When I was 3-4 I went to the gym and saw her coach her team. She amused me, then I started playing too and she encouraged and followed me. She taught me the fundamentals and how to use the backboard to score – which she actually does very well. ed -, he explained to me how to improve in the use of the left hand, my weak point. And it was nice to see the videos of when she played (a legend of Washington University and then also in the WNBA): she was really strong.

The brother in the Philippines

Chris (Christopher Guerrero Banchero), Paolo’s older brother, born in 1989, plays – it also seems very well – in the Philippines. he who paved the way for me. I grew up watching him play. In my high school he won before me: really strong.

June 24, 2022 (change June 24, 2022 | 11:06 am)

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