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Paolo Banchero Planned To Compete Internationally For Italy. Now? Maybe Not

Things appear to have changed for the former Blue Devil, and Grant Hill has a lot to do with it

Detroit Pistons v Orlando Magic
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - APRIL 02: Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Detroit Pistons drives to the basket against Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic during the first half of a game at the Amway Center on April 02, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. 
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

As we noted in another Sunday post, Grant Hill is now the head of USA Basketball and that is an interesting development, not least of all to Paolo Banchero.

Previously, Banchero felt let down by USA Basketball and had never survived the final cut to actually make a team. But he was a sensation at Duke, the #1 pick in last year’s draft, and now the presumptive Rookie of the Year. And, as he notes, a fellow Brotherhood member is running the show and now, “[i]n short, there is a decision to make.”

That’d be great news for Team USA. Banchero would bring a ton of versatility to the American side.

Here’s what he had to say about it:

“The absurd thing is that many times I have made [good] tryouts for Team USA for the junior team, but I’ve always been rejected. When I was in high school Team USA gave me more than one disappointment, to be honest...[t]hen the Italian Federation got together with my father when I was 16-17 years old, and they helped me get my Italian passport and citizenship. If there hadn’t been COVID, I would probably have already played for the Italian national team already at 17-18, and most likely I wouldn’t have missed that opportunity. But then everything stopped, and a lot has happened since then: I went to college, I did what I did at Duke, I became the number one pick in the draft – so now things are a little different, mainly because at the head of USA Basketball today there is a former Duke (and Orlando) player like Grant Hill. In short, there is a decision to make.”

If you want to medal there’s not.