Chosen 25 forward Paolo Banchero will stay put in 2021, schedules visits

Photo: Jon Lopez

After some intense thinking and in-depth conversations with his family, O’Dea High School (Seattle) forward Paolo Banchero has decided not to reclassify from 2021 to 2020.

“I’m staying put,” Banchero told USA Today Sports. “It was a family decision, and I didn’t want to do it unless my family was on board 100 percent and they weren’t all the way. At the end of the day,  I feel like it’s the right decision for me.”

RELATED: Chosen 25 Player Rankings for 2021

Last month, Banchero told USA Today Sports that he was “seriously” contemplating the move after a dominant summer on the Nike EYBL where he averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and 2.5 blocks a game for Seattle Rotary.

He went on to be named Nike EYBL Underclassmen of the Year and also took home MVP honors at the prestigious NBPA Top 100 Camp in June.

Last season as a sophomore, Banchero led O’Dea to its first state title since 2007.

That kind of production has a who’s who of college basketball heavyweights lining up to land the 6-foot-11 forward.

RELATED: All-high school NBA Mock Draft

To that end, Banchero has already lined up dates for his first round of official visits: North Carolina (Sept. 27), Kentucky (Oct. 11), Duke (Oct. 17), Tennessee (Oct. 25) and Gonzaga (Jan. 18).

“I’m just ready to get out there and see the campuses and everything the different schools have to offer,” Banchero said. “At first, I was excited about possibly moving up a class, but I’m excited about staying now. II want another state title and I want to be a McDonald’s All American. Plus, I think about how much further along my game will be with that extra year; it makes me want to work harder.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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