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Duke Recruit Paolo Banchero Shines At The Iverson Classic

This guy is going to be a ton of fun to watch in Cameron

Syndication: The Commercial Appeal
Chet Holmgren defends Paolo Banchero on a drive during the Iverson Classic All-American Game at Bartlett High School on Saturday, May 8, 2021. 
Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Covid-19 just ruins everything and while high school All-Star events are pretty far down the line in importance, it still stinks that most of them were canceled.

Not the Iverson Classic though and Duke-bound Paolo Banchero did very well there. Perhaps a bit surprisingly, Banchero, one of the bigger players in the event, won the one-on-one competition.

Not too long ago, Banchero was a 6-8, 225 lb. forward with all-around skills. Now? He’s a 6-11, 250 lb. big who has lost none of his skills.

We linked a bunch of videos below for you to browse through but we want to show you two specific plays that hint at an improvisational ability you don’t often see in guys his size.

The first is a no-look pass while in motion in the lane. This is really pretty slick. And the second is a really impressive move at the top of the key.

Watch as Banchero crosses over, goes between his legs...and travels.

Okay, that’s not cool. But what is cool is how quickly he recovers and adapts his release to his off-balance form - not to mention the really quick release he shows here.

To do that, to rearrange your body around the arc you need for a shot like that, that quickly, isn’t easy for a smaller guy to do, but at 6-11? In high school?

Any competent musician can read sheet music and do what’s written there but being able to improvise at a high level is pretty rare.

It seems obvious from this clip, and others listed below, that Banchero has mastered the fundamentals and has the imagination to play at a higher level than most players, much less most of his contemporaries. His future is unbelievably bright.