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2021 five-star forward Paolo Banchero earns Kentucky offer

During the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, VA last week, 116 of the nation’s best high school basketball prospects competed in front of countless college coaches and NBA scouts.

One of the players who proved to not only be be among the best of the best every time he stepped on the floor? 2021 five-star forward Paolo Banchero.

Teamed up with two top-five prospects in the class of 2020, five-star forwards Makur Maker and Jalen Johnson, Banchero somehow managed to separate himself from his elite peers throughout the week. Averaging 17.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists against some of the top competition in the nation, the 6-foot-10, 235-pound forward even managed to take home MVP honors when awards were announced on Saturday afternoon.

Just three days later, the Kentucky coaching staff decided Banchero’s ridiculous performance at camp was enough to earn a scholarship, making him just the third player in the class of 2021 to receive an offer from UK.

At the NBPA Top 100 Camp, the five-star forward was asked about his recruitment, where he rattled off Oregon State and Gonzaga as schools he had already visited, along with Memphis and Arizona as places he’d like to visit in the very near future.

When asked about Kentucky’s contact, Banchero said that while they had been in regular communication with those in his inner circle, he was looking forward to talking to John Calipari and the other assistants once college coaches were legally allowed to start communicating with rising juniors starting on Saturday morning,

“I haven’t been in contact with them, but they’ve talked to my trainers and coaches, asking about me,” he said. “But I’m sure I’ll get in contact with them [personally] soon.”

As for his interest in Kentucky, the 6-foot-10 prospect said the proof is in the pudding with their program and he’d definitely consider them if an offer came and interest ramped up.

“I mean, it’s Kentucky,” he said. “You know, they’ve been putting dudes in the league, getting to the tournament, getting to the Final Four, championship, all that, for 10 years now.”

Banchero, a Seattle, WA native, has been rumored to want to stay on the West coast at the college level. When asked about that speculation, the five-star forward shot it down, saying he’d be willing to play anywhere in the country if it was the right fit.

“No, not at all. I’m willing to go wherever,” Banchero said. “Not saying I won’t stay on the West coast. But if I was trying to go to an East coast school or down South, distance wouldn’t really affect me too much.”

So what is he looking for in a school? The top-10 prospect in the class of 2021 said he wants to connect well with the coaching staff and fit in with their style of play.

Luckily for some of the top programs in the country, he said he’s flexible on both accounts.

“I think one of my qualities is I can kind of fit under any type of playing style, any type of coaching,” he said. “My AAU coach is kind of laid back, but my high school coach is more of an in-your-face type of coach. And I like both of those, I fit well with both of styles. So I don’t really pay attention to any of that [specifically], I think I’m good playing in any system.”

Now adding Kentucky to the list, Banchero already holds offers from Kansas, Arizona, Gonzaga, Washington, Memphis, and Oklahoma, among others.

Watch some of his most recent highlights from Nike EYBL Session 3 below:

KSR will be in North Augusta, SC for Peach Jam from July 10-14 to ask Banchero about his new offer from the Wildcats and his soaring stock.

Stay tuned.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

8 Comments for 2021 five-star forward Paolo Banchero earns Kentucky offer

  1. nocode96
    11:57 am June 19, 2019 Permalink

    I want everyone on here that complains about Cal to look at this dude’s quote about how Kentucky has been “doing it for 10 years now”. No one remembers Rupp or even Pitino. No one certainly remembers Hall. No one but us lifelong fans. To any kid coming here or potentially coming here, all they know is the Cal era. And these kids don’t care about rolling hills, horses, or bourbon. Relying on who we are traditionally would not have created another championship, it wouldn’t have made us a powerhouse again, kids do t care about tradition, they care about playing on the big stage and making their dreams come true and going pro. Remember this next time you complain about Cal. As for me and most fans with half a brain, not a coach in the country we’d rather have leading our program. Go Cats!

    • runningunnin.454
      12:18 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      Agree, 100%.

    • J-Dub421
      12:22 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      This ^^

    • ibescootch
      12:26 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      Solid points. Agree 100% as well.

      I appreciate the tradition, and you can force it down recruits throats and be self-righteous about it, or you can meet these kids where they are, with their dreams and expectations. I think Cal is a master at that. Best coach in the country.

    • StuckinLville
      2:17 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      You are right because most of these guys were in elementary school when John Wall touched down from the sky. If Cal can win it this year with a mix of veterans, grad transfers, and freshman, recruiting will go back to Cal over Coach K. K has tanked three years in a row with the #1 class. I just look for him to start copying Cal, again, and go after grad transfers. But to get to your point, these guys see the big names in the league and who is doing well. But, i think you do have some recruits the tradition does matter. The history may not matter to all but to some.

    • ColoradoCatFan88
      2:21 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      Very well said nocode. Spot on!

  2. TOMCATS1990
    1:53 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

    When CAL decides to leave Kentucky UK will have MASSIVE shoes to fill!! No one outside of a handful of Coaches can handle everything BBN, and CAL is probably the best one that does it.

    • StuckinLville
      2:18 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      That’s why im glad he will stick around and to help the new head coach out and show them the ropes and what’s to be expected and how to handle it.