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(Erick Rasco/Sports Illustrated)

BREAKING: Paolo Banchero Opting Out of Final Four Ahead of NBA Draft

Paolo Banchero
(Erick Rasco/Sports Illustrated)

BREAKING: Paolo Banchero Opting Out of Final Four Ahead of 2022 NBA Draft

In a surprise announcement, Duke freshman Paolo Banchero has opted out of participating in the remainder of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The news comes just one day before the Blue Devils were set to play rival North Carolina in the Final Four. Banchero’s statement reads as follows:

I want to thank Duke University, Coach Krzyzewski, and my teammates for the greatest basketball season of my life. Winning an ACC title alongside you all is something I will cherish forever. After long and difficult discussions with my family and agent, I have decided the best course of action for my future is to end my college career to prepare for the 2022 NBA Draft. Playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream, and I look forward to representing the Blue Devils on the biggest stage in the sport.

To Coach K: It has been an honor to play for the GREATEST coach in basketball history. Thank you for believing in me.

To the Cameron Crazies: The unending support from this fanbase has been incredible to experience. I will miss playing in front of you all.

To my teammates: Go win it all.

Brotherhood for Life.

– P5

Paolo Banchero averaged 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game in his freshman season. He also received Consensus All-American Second Team honors. Duke will miss his enormous impact on the court, but they still have enough talent on the roster to win a championship.

Banchero projects to be one of the first names called in the 2022 NBA Draft. Duke plays North Carolina in the Final Four tomorrow night, April 2, at 8:49 P.M.

Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone.

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