Paolo Banchero is still considered the future of the Italian national team, but this may not happen after all
In theory, Paolo Banchero would be the future flagbearer of the Italian national team, but the expected-to-be NBA rookie of the year may have other plans after all.
Talking to the “Knuckleheads” podcast of former players Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, Banchero opened the door for the possibility to play in the USA national team. When asked if he would play for the US, Banchero answered back: “I don’t know yet, This is the question that everyone asks me all the time”.
Speaking about his ties to Italy, Banchero explains: “My father is called Mario, his brother is called Giulio, my uncle Angelo – we have all these names Italians, and of course growing up I wondered where they came from. But my father and I have never been to Italy, I’m trying to organize myself to go there in the summer because my father always told me that he wanted to go there, sooner or later, to meet that side of our family that is still there. There was the opportunity to have an Italian passport and become an Italian citizen, and I seized it”.
So at this point, Banchero seems to be at least in a dilemma, even if in the past he had disappointing experiences trying to make the junior US teams: “The absurd thing is that many times I have made gods 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: they cut me several times, often leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Then 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 n°1 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”.
Source: Euro Hoops