Duke basketball freshman Paolo Banchero made history thanks to the new NIL rules.
The college athletics landscape has changed since the name, image, and likeness rules were passed, and Duke basketball freshman Paolo Banchero has not wasted any time making history among his peers.
Banchero is the No. 2 incoming high school recruit and projected by some as the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NBA Draft.
After agreeing to have CAA Basketball represent him in his NIL deals, the same agency that represents former Blue Devil Zion Williamson, Paolo Banchero will appear in the latest edition of the NBA 2K video game.
Banchero becomes the first college player to organically appear in the video game as users who previously wanted to use college players and/or college basketball programs needed to manually create each team and player to use in the game.
The 5-star freshman will also be creating his own content in the game throughout the course of the season.
Duke basketball freshman gearing up for major expectations in 2021-22
Paolo Banchero will likely only be in Durham for one season before he makes the leap to the NBA, but the 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward is already gathering some lofty expectations.
Not only do some project the Seattle native to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but also many expect him to win the National Freshman of the Year Award and be in contention for the National Player of the Year Award.
In addition to the personal accolades, Banchero is also expected to shoulder the load for the Blue Devils, who are looking to return to the NCAA Tournament after missing the Big Dance last season for the first time since 1995.
In the final year of Mike Krzyzewski’s illustrious career, the Hall of Famer will rely on his freshman class of Banchero, Adrian Griffin Jr., Trevor Keels, and Jaylen Blakes as well as returning stars Wendell Moore Jr., Mark Williams, and Jeremy Roach.
Specifications on Paolo Banchero’s deal with the video game have not become public, but NBA 2K22 was released to the public on September 10.