Orlando Magic Select Paolo Banchero With No. 1 Pick in N.B.A. Draft

by 24USATVJune 24, 2022, 2:01 a.m. 13
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Paolo Banchero knew Thursday would be a special day, the start of his N.B.A. career.

He had no idea about the plans of the Orlando Magic, the team selecting first overall in the N.B.A. draft that night. When he found out, just minutes before N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver called his name, he couldn’t believe it.

“This isn’t even a dream,” Banchero said. “I feel like this is a fantasy. I dreamed of being in the N.B.A., but being the No. 1 overall pick — this is crazy.”

The Magic selected Banchero, a forward from Duke University, with the top pick in Thursday’s draft. He is a 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward, whose mother, Rhonda Smith-Banchero, played in the W.N.B.A. He was a guard earlier in his basketball career and played football and basketball at O’Dea High School in Seattle.

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