Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero is setting NBA records as the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, and is currently playing for the Italian national team.
Banchero received his Italian passport in the summer of 2020. The winger is also eligible to play for the country’s national team. However, the starter is not sure when he will play.
A few NBA betting sites are giving the Magic the fourth-lowest odds to win the championship in 2023. However, if the backcourt can stay healthy, some sportsbooks could increase their playoff chances.
Paolo Banchero: I’m thinking of playing for the Italian national team https://t.co/Cj5huTwgr6
– Sportando Italia (@SportandoIT) October 31, 2022
While on RJ Hampton’s “Young Person” podcast, Magic explained the process ahead and why he decided to pursue an Italian passport in the first place.
“When I was 16, the Italian national team arrived with my father,” said the No. 1 overall pick. “Does it have Italian roots? Can he get citizenship?’ And my father said yes.
Magic rookie Paolo Banchero wants to play for the Italian national team in the future
Neither Paolo nor his father have ever been to Italy, but they want to go. “So, the whole process started, I flew to San Francisco several times to meet at the Italian embassy, we had a few meetings, and I got my Italian passport,” continued Asmat.
“I plan to play for the Italian national team. I’m not sure when. I haven’t been out there yet but man, the amount of love I get from that is crazy, man. It’s crazy. I can’t wait to go to Italy.
In the year Banchero was born in Seattle, Washington in 2002. As a teenager, he played football and basketball for O’Dea High School. Then the 19-year-old played one season in the NCAA with Duke. A trip to Italy is an initiation into the world of magic.
Official: Five-star scout Paolo Banchero gets an Italian passport pic.twitter.com/vL1gSsL7Gt
– Emiliano Carchia (@Carchia) June 23, 2020
“My father’s side is Italian,” said Magic Wings. “His great-grandfather, my great-grandfather, was born in Italy and then moved to Seattle and raised a family there.
So, my father’s grandfather and his father are all from Seattle but have Italian roots. You know, growing up, I always wondered why my name was Paolo Banchero, it was so different from all the other kids.
My father’s name is Mario, my uncle’s name is Angelo, my other uncle’s name is Armando, my brother’s name is Julio, and when I was a little older, my father told me about our Italian roots. You know, my dad has never been to Italy, so we’re new to it.
In seven games with the Magic, the rookie is averaging 22.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. Considering that Banchero is the first rookie in NBA history to score at least 20 points in his first three games, the Italians will love to see what the young star does on the international stage.