Italian federation wants to have Paolo Banchero at FIBA World Cup 2023

Orazio Cauchi
Staff Writer
2022-09-24 10:20

The president of the Italian Basketball Federation said that the hope is to have Banchero with the national team at the World Cup 2023. Head coach Gianmarco Pozzecco and GM Salvatore Trainotti will fly to the United States to speak with the player.

Credit: FIBA-Scanpix
Credit FIBA-Scanpix

After reaching the quarter-finals at the Olympic Games in 2021 and EuroBasket this year, Italy will start focusing on the FIBA World Cup 2023, which will be hosted by Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. 

Italy's best hope to improve the team is Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. The Orlando Magic rookie has an Italian passport and has already expressed his will to represent Italy at the international level.

The president of the Italian Basketball Federation, Gianni Petrucci, was recently a guest at the Sports festival hosted by the Italian newspaper 'La Gazzetta dello Sport'.

During the event, in an interview with Sky Sport, Petrucci stated the federation's will is to have Banchero with the national team at the World Cup. 

"The chance that he's gonna wear our jersey is real," Petrucci said. "Our GM Salvatore Trainotti was recently in the United States to talk with his family. Our hope is to have him with us at the World Cup, we definitely have some chances."

"For this reason, both Gianmarco Pozzecco and Salvatore Trainotti will go to the United States to talk with the Orlando Magic and with the player" Petrucci added. "Counting on him would be a wonderful development for our basketball. He was the No. 1 pick in the last NBA Draft, for sure he's gonna add great value to our team." 

Italy has yet to qualify for the FIBA World Cup 2023. Together with Spain, they're at the top of Group L.

Italy won their last two games against Ukraine and Georgia. In November, Italy will face Spain at home and Georgia on the road, looking to secure a spot for the World Cup. 

Banchero, who has Italian roots through his father, has often shared his interest in the country. He shows the Italian flag on his Twitter account and was enthusiastic recently when Italy beat Serbia in the EuroBasket Round of 16. 

In his only season at Duke, Banchero averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 34% from three-point. 

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