NBA Draft 2022: Paolo Banchero chosen as overall first pick by Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic selected Paolo Banchero as the first pick of the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday.
Banchero, 19, played for Duke University, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 39 starts.
The forward seemed to shine under the intense pressure of the draft, donning a purple suit and struggling to contain his excitement.
“This isn’t even a dream. I feel like this is a fantasy. I dreamed of being in the NBA, but being the No. 1 overall pick, this is crazy, ”Banchero told reporters, while sitting next to his mom di lui.
“I don’t even know what to say. I can’t believe what just happened, honestly. I wanted to be in the NBA, but I didn’t know I would be here. ”
Banchero says he’s planning to bring “everything” he has to Orlando Magic who struggled last season with a record of 22-60.
“First off, just a winning mindset, a work-first mindset,” he added. “Just ready to get in with the guys and get to work. This is one of the best moments of my life. I’m super excited. ”
Chet Holmgren was the draft’s overall second pick, heading to Oklahoma City Thunder.
The big man, standing at over six feet and nine inches, said he wanted to use his natural attributes to help his new team.
“I can use my length and my quickness to cover a lot of ground and take up space,” he told reporters.
The Thunder’s next practice might prove to be a little confusing, however, with the franchise also picking both Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams (not related) in the same draft.
There was plenty of fun to be had at the draft which took place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Players weren’t shy with their wardrobe choices with an array of outfits covering the full spectrum of fashion on show.
There was also a heartwarming moment when Jaden Ivey was overcome with emotion after being picked fifth overall by the Detroit Pistons.
He becomes the latest member of his family to be drafted into professional basketball with his mom, Notre Dame women’s head coach Niele Ivey, having previously played for the WNBA’s Detroit Shock.
“This is everything man, I worked day in and day out just to get to this level and I know I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her and I’m just so happy, I’m just so happy, ”Said Jalen of his selection.
Niele, meanwhile, barely had words for the moment: “I’m speechless almost, you know like, this is his dream come true, to be in Detroit, we have so many amazing roots in Detroit, you know for him to be able to walk on that stage so I’m just so joyful, so happy for him so I’m just taking it all in, soaking it all in. ”