LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas and more headline Duke freshman Paolo Banchero’s already star-studded fan base

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12:37 AM ET

  • Kelly CohenESPN

He may be just 18 years outdated, but Duke forward Paolo Banchero already has a star-studded checklist of seasoned athletes as enthusiasts.

The freshman created his debut for Duke on Tuesday night time in the Blue Devils’ initial game of the 2021-22 school basketball time. Banchero had 22 details, 7 rebounds and 2 steals in a 79-71 acquire around No.10 Kentucky. He is at present the No. 2 prospect in ESPN’s best 100 recruits for the 2022 NBA Draft.

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According to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, what makes Banchero so specific is that he “can handle the ball, strike deal with-up jumpers from the prime of the crucial and score all around the basket. He also absorbs speak to continuously, getting to the free of charge throw line with regularity.”

LeBron James is presently shelling out notice to Banchero’s play, and he will have extra probabilities to see the freshman in significant-time matchups. The Blue Devils host No. 1 Gonzaga and travel to encounter No. 17 Ohio Condition in November.

James posted a photo on his Instagram tale from the photoshoot Banchero did for SLAM Journal. In the photo, Banchero is tying his blue and white LeBron 11 sneakers. What is actually even extra amazing is Banchero’s enjoyment around James’ Instagram shoutout.


no way bron set me on tha story person sorry but y’all gotta enable me be a admirer for a next 😭 that’s my goat fr 🤞🏽

— Paolo Banchero🇮🇹 (@Pp_doesit) November 10, 2021

Previous NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas couldn’t help but position out that Washington provides star-caliber hoopers, like himself. Banchero was born and went to superior university in Seattle.

So when @Pp_doesit is the #1 decide in up coming yrs draft what will they say about our point out then?? Lol we just retain making!!!

— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) November 10, 2021

Charlotte Hornets star Miles Bridges also gave Banchero props, a few times right after Banchero tweeted how “chilly” Bridges is.

Paolo Banchero acquired match 🔥🔥 https://t.co/wKs0qUuOhs

— Miles Bridges (@MilesBridges) November 10, 2021

Speaking of SLAM Magazine, Banchero was surprised a lot less than 24 several hours soon after his university debut by Jon Scheyer, the assistant head mentor of Duke, carrying a shirt with Banchero’s deal with on it.

About 15 several hours right after P5 showed out vs Kentucky…

Received HIM! 😅🤝💪👀 @SLAMonline @Pp_doesit @JonScheyer lol pic.twitter.com/koRAAiwSPt

— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) November 10, 2021

The Banchero bandwagon is getting a ton of passengers, and the freshman hopes he can continue on to engage in up to expectations as the Blue Devils begin a six-activity homestand Friday towards Army.