Duke’s Paolo Banchero becomes first college basketball player to appear in ‘NBA2K’ video game series


Paolo Banchero Duke Blue Devils Basketball
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The “NBA 2K” series is one of the most popular sports franchises in the gaming world and will now be making some history. Duke freshman forward Paolo Banchero is set to make an appearance in “NBA 2K22,” which will make him the first active college basketball player to appear in the video game series.

Back in September — before he ever played a college game — Banchero signed an NIL deal with 2K Sports, which did promise to include the star freshman as a virtual character in “NBA 2K22.” It took five months after that deal to come to fruition, but history is finally being made.

Banchero is set to be featured in the “Season 5: Power Within” game mode. According to the “NBA 2K22” official website, this particular feature will be a journey in which players “become the hero” and “reach your full potential as a Legend.” 

And Banchero isn’t the only player that gamers will be able to choose from. 

“Become the hero the City and the Cancha Del Mar deserve, and reach your full potential as a Legend,” the “NBA 2K22” website stated. “Gain inspiration from two-time champion Kevin Durant, 2019 first-round pick Rui Hachimura, and if the prophecy is true, future NBA superstar Paolo Banchero.”

Banchero is enjoying a stellar freshman season at Duke. He’s averaging 16.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting 46.0 percent from the field. The Blue Devils star is expected to be top five pick in the 2022 NBA Draft later this year.





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