Shape of Paolo Banchero, Duke’s newest freshman superstar – The Athletic

DURHAM, NC – No one knows exactly how the 4-year-old boy was injured on stage. But he was there, front and center, pretending to strum a guitar and ruin a community carnival concert. The artist he supported, a local jazz musician named Michael Powers, became so enthralled with the toddler’s enthusiasm that he gave him a free live concert DVD to show him off. bring to home.

“I’m not kidding you,” Mario Banchero says now, “Paolo watched that DVD five times a day.”

Paolo, for the uninitiated, is Mario’s son. But if you’ve heard the name Paolo Banchero (pronounced ban-care-oh) before – and soon you will, if you haven’t – it may not be in the context of childhood capers. Instead of, replace? It went like this: the freshman center on Coach K’s last Duke team; one of the top three rookies in all college basketball; and, according to industry insiders, the lead to take the #1 spot in next year’s NBA Draft. He is a 6-foot-10, 250-pound guard crammed into the body of a center, capable of slicing past defenders as he sinks them into oblivion. It’s an overused expression, sure, but there’s simply no human score for his mix of size and skill – and he’s not turning 19 until Friday. , three days after the Blues’ opener against Kentucky in the Champions Classic.

But before all this? Paolo, like countless kids, is a rock star. Or, jazz star, technically, but same deal. He would watch that DVD of Powers over and over, drumming to the beat. At first it was using his hands; Before long, Mario was ripping pieces of cardboard off two clothes hangers from the sweeper to create makeshift drumsticks. Shape of Paolo Banchero, Duke’s newest freshman superstar – The Athletic

Chris Estrada

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