Paolo Banchero on being selected with the No. 1 pick: “I didn’t even have time to think about it”

By Antigoni Zachari / [email protected]

Italian-American power forward Paolo Banchero was selected with the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic to lead three more European players selected in the first round.

The Duke standout, who averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists across 39 games for the Blue Devils which reached this year’s NCAA Final Four, spoke about his experience moments before the Magic selected him first.

“I had a feeling, from the information I was being told, that it was just kind of up in the air,” Banchero told ESPN. “Orlando wasn’t really sure yet, and just to be ready for whatever”.

“I didn’t find out, though, that I was actually getting picked until about 20 seconds before the commissioner got on the stage,” Banchero added. I didn’t even have time to really think about it or anything. It just kind of happened. I can’t believe it, but I’m ready. I’m ready.”

Banchero, 19, has also committed to the Italian NT team, and it remains to be seen if his obligations allow him to join the selection either for the summer qualifiers or the September EuroBasket.

 

Photo credit: Getty Images

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