Prospect Spotlight: Paolo Banchero (2021 O’Dea HS)


Posted On: 11/10/18 5:29 PM

Class of 2021 power forward, Paolo Banchero, has been a familiar name in the state of Washington for some time. He grew up playing with the Seattle Rotary Style 2021 team since his elementary days and found great success. His freshman season at O’Dea High School (Seattle) was more of the same as he averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds, and nearly two blocks per game in the rugged Metro League. Standing at 6’8, (and still growing) 220 pounds and an advanced skill set, everyone in Washington knew he was on his way stardom. Not too many knew it would come so soon, however. The summer of 2018 is when Paolo Banchero became a national household name. 

When spring tryouts rolled around for the national powerhouse Seattle Rotary program, there was no guarantee Paolo was going to play on the top team. Many of his former team members from the 2021 class made the 15U and 16U teams, which are also very competitive. It is a rare occasion at Rotary for any freshman/incoming sophomore to play on the 17U level. Competing in Nike’s EYBL circuit requires Rotary to put a team on the floor that can compete and win now. The decision was ultimately made that the 17U team needed size and Paolo could provide that. As the EYBL circuit sped along, the Seattle Rotary coaches and dozens of college coaches learned just how good Paolo really is right now! Playing with guys two and three years older than him, Paolo would be one of the most consistent players on the team averaging nearly 14 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks per game. He also made the EYBL All-Underclassmen team along the way. His offers now include USC, Alabama, Oklahoma, UW and more. 


Prep Hoops recently spoke with Paolo about his experience with USA Basketball and got an update on his recruitment following a big summer: 


1) How will you take your experience at the Team USA mini Training Camp into the high school season? 

Banchero: “Just being a leader and being a lot more vocal. If there is anything I learned from USA, it’s that in order to be a great player, you need to be a vocal leader on the court”

Notes: Paolo has always led by example and playing up with older guys in high school and on the travel circuit makes it more difficult to step up and be that voice on a team loaded with other stars. The next step in his development is to become a vocal leader in any situation, as his play demands the respect already. 


2) How’s the recruitment process going? Any visits planned?

Banchero: “The recruitment is going well and is starting to pick up a lot! I was just at Oregon State for an unofficial on November 3rd/4th. Other than that, I don’t have any more visits scheduled” 

Notes: Oregon State’s head coach, Wayne Tinkle, has offered the 5-star recruit. Schools from major conferences such as the PAC-12, Big 12, and SEC will all be working early on to get the 2021 product on their roster a few years down the road. 



2021 Washington Prospect Rankings

Be on the lookout for Washington’s class of 2021 rankings to drop next week! Paolo Banchero will surely be on that list.