After his deal with NBA2K, a first for a college basketball player, Paolo Banchero has another first: he’s struck a deal with Panini to do player cards.
Brian Bayne, Panini America Vice President of Acquisitions, said this: “As we continue to enter into the NIL market, we are focused on working with the top-level athletes and there is no one that is more anticipated as we approach the college basketball season than Paolo Banchero we are excited to make him Panini’s first NIL college basketball athlete.”
Given the buzz around his talent and potential, it seems reasonable and it’s a great opportunity for Banchero, who may now be making more than Duke’s well-paid assistants. However, there’s also this to consider.
Banchero is making deals that really underscore just how much Duke has to offer a basketball player in in the NIL era. You can be certain that young recruits, committed or considering Duke, are paying attention.