Paolo Banchere said he chose Team USA for his mother

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Paolo Banchere said he chose Team USA for his mother
Paolo Banchere said he chose Team USA for his mother

Paolo Banchero, in Las Vegas, after posing with the Naismith Trophy, which will be presented to the World Cup champions, spoke about why he chose team USA rather than team Italy, for the forthcoming world championship in August.

Surprisingly underlining how the choice was also made for his mother. He said how he saw his mother in a photo of the US women's national team. Paolo told: "I saw her every single day. That was literally one of my biggest dreams as a kid, to play for the United States.

I was 17 when they asked me if I wanted to answer Italy's call and that was a moment in my life when I felt like I couldn't pass up that opportunity because my father's side of the family is Italian. And I didn't know much about my Italian heritage.

So, I felt that that was the perfect way to learn about more and get closer to my Italian heritage, which I have had ever since. This keeps me thinking about how different my life would have been if Covid hadn't been there.

I couldn't play for Italy, I went to Duke, I had a great year, I was No. 1 in the draft and, you know, circumstances change."

The arrival at the Orlando

Despite the experts' predictions that Jabari Smith Jr. was the favorite, on June 23, 2022 he was chosen by the Orlando Magic with the 1st overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

On October 19, he made his NBA debut against the Detroit Pistons, recording 27 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, the first rookie to post at least 25 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds on his debut since LeBron James. In his first four games as a professional, he always had at least 20 points on the scoresheet, becoming the third overall pick to do so in NBA history after Elvin Hayes and Oscar Robertson.

On December 1, in the game against the Atlanta Hawks, he scored another 20 points, thus reaching 340 total and becoming the player to score the most points after 15 games with the Orlando Magic, a record previously held by Shaquille O'Neal at 338. A at the end of the season he wins the Rookie of the Year award.