Five-star forward Paolo Banchero talked to HoopSeen.com about his recruitment from this weekend’s USA Basketball training camp in Colorado Springs, and it’s clear Kentucky is one of the schools at the top of his list as he heads toward his junior season of high school.
Banchero — a 6-foot-9 prospect from Seattle — is the No. 5 overall player in the 2021 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and he earned a UK scholarship offer last month after being named the most valuable player of the NBPA Top 100 Camp.
Skill level and feel for the game that Paolo Banchero has is as good as it can possibly get for a rising junior. He’s been teaching a master class in how to play the four. #USABminicamp
— Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) July 28, 2019
In his interview with HoopSeen this weekend, Banchero mentioned John Calipari first when he talked about enjoying the communication he’s had with various college coaches during his recruitment. He also said Kentucky and Duke were the two programs that would “for sure” get a visit from him in the coming weeks.
Banchero said he plans to set a series of trips to schools farther away from his hometown, adding that Memphis and Tennessee are also in the mix for a visit between now and the start of his school year.
“I want to go to schools that are far away,” he told HoopSeen. “Schools that are close by, I can go anytime. I just kind of want to get out there and see them, because I won’t be able to see them anytime.”
Washington — the hometown option — remains the unanimous favorite on his 247Sports Crystal Ball page. While Banchero said the Huskies will be “strongly considered,” they’re no lock to land his commitment. Banchero said he remains “wide open” in his recruitment and added that his parents are not trying to push him to any certain school, echoing his comments to the Herald-Leader last month that distance from home would play zero role in his ultimate college destination.