Paolo Banchero recently confirmed that his national team commitment lies with Italy, and not with the United States. Banchero initially told Marc Stein that he was planning to play for Italy and confirmed that commitment again in a conversation with Orlando Magic teammate R.J. Hampton.
While on Hampton's "Young Person" show, Banchero explained that him playing for Italy has been in the works for a while.
"When I was 16, the Italian national team reached out to my dad," Banchero said. "They were like, 'Does he have Italian roots? Can he get citizenship?' And my dad told them yes. So, the whole process started. I flew to San Francisco multiple times to meet them at the Italian embassy, we had a few meetings, and I ended up getting my Italian passport."
Banchero said he doesn't know when he'll make his debut for Italy, but that he's excited for the opportunity.
"I'm planning to play for the Italian national team, but I'm not sure when," Banchero said. "I haven't been out there yet, but man, the amount of love I'm getting from there... it's crazy, man. It's crazy. I can't wait to go to Italy."