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Paolo Banchero makes history as Duke’s fifth No. 1 draft pick


Paola Banchero etched his identify in NBA history Thursday night time when he grew to become the fifth Duke Blue Devil chosen first total within the draft.

Duke had probably the most No. 1 picks of any faculty within the nation coming into the night time and added to it with Banchero going to the Orlando Magic.

Banchero is coming off a stellar freshman season in Durham the place he was named the 2021-22 ACC Rookie of the Year, ACC All-Freshman Team, All-ACC First Team, All-ACC Tournament First Team, ACC Leader in factors scored (671) and discipline objectives (245) and NCAA Second Team All-America.

Before Banchero, Duke noticed Zion Williamson (2019), Kyrie Irving (2011), Elton Brand (1999) and Art Heyman (1963) all taken within the prime spot. 

Zion Williamson

Drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019, Zion Williamson established himself as the perfect collegiate basketball participant in 2018-19. He was named the 2018-19 Naismith Award Winner, the AP Player of the Year, ACC All-Defense, All-ACC, First Team All-American and the ACC Tournament MVP.

He didn’t decelerate as soon as he hit the NBA hardwood both. In his first NBA recreation, he scored 17 consecutive factors in simply over three minutes of recreation time within the fourth quarter. Williamson scored not less than 20 factors in 4 straight video games, the longest streak by any rookie of the season. He additionally tied the longest streak within the Pelicans franchise history, scoring not less than 20 factors in six of his first eight video games.

Williamson averaged over 25 factors per recreation and have become the primary teenager in NBA history to attain not less than 20 factors in 10 consecutive video games. By the tip of his rookie season, he was named to the 2021 NBA All-Star and All-NBA Rookie First Team.

Kyrie Irving

When Kyrie Irving was drafted in 2011, it appeared like an anomaly to the common NBA fan, however Cleveland knew the kind of participant he was.

Irving solely performed in 9 regular-season video games at Duke earlier than injuring toe and didn’t play once more till the postseason the place Duke fell in Sweet 16 to Arizona. Irving scored 28 factors that recreation which proved to be his ultimate one for the Blue Devils.

Irving has turn out to be a bona fide celebrity within the NBA. He was named the 2011-12 NBA Rookie of the Year, 2014 All-Star Game MVP, three-time All-NBA and seven-time NBA All-Star. In 2016, he hit the game-winning 3-pointer within the NBA Championship to raise the Cavaliers over Golden State with beneath a minute to play.

Elton Brand

The Chicago Bulls chosen Elton Brand in 1999 after a two-year profession at Duke. His sophomore season was his greatest, by far, when he was named First-team All- ACC, ACC Player of the Year, First Team All-American and 1999 ACC Tournament MVP.

His 17-year taking part in profession within the NBA was highlighted by 1999-2000 NBA Co-Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis of the Houston Rockets, he was a two-time All-Star and 2005-06 All-NBA 2nd Team.

Art Heyman

The first Blue Devil drafted first total was Art Heyman. The New York Knicks chosen the 6-foot-5 scorer after he led Duke to its first Final Four in 1963.

Some say Heyman is liable for Duke turning into a basketball powerhouse. He was named second-team All-American in 1961-62, first-team All-American in 1962-63, All-ACC in annually of his profession at Duke, 1963 ACC Tournament MVP and 1963 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

His NBA profession didn’t final lengthy. In 1967, Heyman moved on to the American Basketball Association and helped the Pittsburgh Pipers to the league’s first championship in 1968.


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