Orlando Magic select Paolo Banchero first overall in 2022 NBA Draft - The Sporting Base

Orlando Magic select Paolo Banchero first overall in 2022 NBA Draft

June 24, 2022

Orlando Magic select Paolo Banchero first overall in 2022 NBA Draft

The 2022 National Basketball Association Draft took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday. With the first overall selection, the Orlando Magic selected power forward Paolo Banchero of Seattle, Washington out of Duke University.

Despite being born in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, Banchero has indicated his intention to play for Italy on the international stage. Paolo’s father is of Italian descent and Paolo has Italian citizenship.

Banchero has strong basketball roots. His mother Rhonda is the all-time scoring leader in women’s basketball at the University of Washington with 2498 points, and was selected in the third round, 46th overall, by the Sacramento Monarchs in the 2000 WNBA Draft.

With the Blue Devils this past year, Banchero was the Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year. In 39 games this past year, he averaged 17.2 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game. He had a field goal percentage of .478, three-point percentage of .338 and a free throw percentage of .729. Banchero became the 13th Blue Devils player to win the award.

Banchero becomes the second Italian ever to be selected first overall in the NBA Draft. The first was Andrea Bargnani of Rome, who was taken by the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

The first round of the 2022 NBA Draft had plenty of international flavour. In addition to Banchero, the Indiana Pacers selected Canadian swingman Bennedict Mathurin sixth overall out of the University of Arizona; the Portland Trail Blazers selected Canadian shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe seventh overall out of the University of Kentucky; the New Orleans Pelicans selected Australian guard Dyson Daniels eighth overall out of the G League; the San Antonio Spurs selected Polish power forward Jeremy Sochan ninth overall out of Baylor; the New York Knicks selected French small forward Ousmane Dieng 11th overall out of the New Zealand Breakers; and the Miami Heat selected Serbian small forward Nikola Jovic 27th overall out of Mega Mozzart.

To see how Joel Beatton of The Sporting Base did with his mock draft, please click here.

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