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Paolo Banchero Becomes First College Player to Appear in NBA 2K

Duke basketball’s freshman forward made history on Friday as he became the first-ever collegiate athlete to be featured in NBA 2K22. Banchero announced the exciting news on social media. 

According to Boardroom’s Sam Dunn, Banchero has signed a historic deal with 2K Sports that will make him a playable character in the new NBA 2K video game and will allow him to create additional content for the game during the upcoming season. As of now, he appears as a player in the MyCareer, a fan-favorite mode in the game.

Paolo’s deal comes just over two months after the NCAA passed its interim name, image, and likeness policy permitting student-athletes to profit off their likenesses.

The deal with 2K was made through negotiations with CAA(Creative Artists Agency) to represent the 6-foot-10 forward in his NIL deals. The agency is an experienced and popular one, as it also represents former Blue Devils Zion Williamson, Luke Kennard and JJ Redick.

This deal is just a glimpse as to what success the prime candidate will earn in his future endorsement deals. As the third-ranked player in his draft class, Banchero’s achievements have been tremendous both on and off the court. 

Although the five-star recruit only played three years in high school, he dominated the game with force. Named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state as a junior, he averaged 22.6 points, 11 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 blocked shots.

247Sports recruiting analyst Josh Gershon projected Banchero as a high first-round draft pick and compared him to NBA star PJ Tucker.

“Respectable size for post with decent length, wide shoulders and a very good frame,” Gershon said about Banchero.

“Strong for his age but has plenty of room to grow into frame. Shouldn’t have issues increasing strength. Best from high post where he can hit jumpers, take bigger defenders off dribble or use his outstanding vision to find cutters. Terrific rebounder. Uses his size and basketball IQ to protect rim.”

Combining his 6-foot-10, 250-pound frame with a versatile skill set, it’s evident Banchero is the modern big that today’s NBA teams are looking for. As of now, Banchero is projected the potential No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. 

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