5-Star Seattle Recruit Paolo Banchero Reaffirms 6 Hoop Choices

Dan Raley

When it comes to the nation's top 2021 basketball recruits, Paolo Banchero brings a full skill set. And more.

Add blogging to his numerous talents.

The 6-foot-9, 235-pounder from Seattle's O'Dea High School this summer is sharing his innermost thoughts with SI All-American, our national recruiting portal, with a breezy regular report compiled by him. Check it out.

In his latest offering, Banchero reaffirms that his six college choices are Arizona, Duke, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Tennessee and Washington. 

In a pandemic world, the five-star player anticipates it might take him longer than he originally planned to settle on his final destination. He can't travel to any of the schools, but he's talking to them.

Speaking of the virus, Banchero says he's being extra careful with the coronavirus by wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and not touching doorknobs as he works out or pursues AAU basketball.

With his size and nimble moves, Banchero remains a huge recruiting priority for the Huskies and coach Mike Hopkins, who find themselves light on big men after freshmen Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels took early entry into the NBA draft and 7-1 redshirt freshman Bryan Penn-Johnson transferred out.

A player like Banchero is a chance for Hopkins to really elevate his program, which will have transfers Erik Stevenson from Wichita State and Cole Bajema of Michigan eligible when Banchero would be a true freshman. An elite big man like him emerges in Seattle maybe once a decade. 

He's the son of the former Rhonda Smith, one of the UW's greatest women's basketball players, and Mario Banchero, who was a walk-on Husky tight end for the football team. His parents met at school.

The Huskies appear to have as good a chance as any at landing him. 

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