Paolo Banchero, a five-star basketball recruit at O’Dea High, announced Thursday afternoon that he’s committed to Duke.
The Blue Devils emerged as the top choice over finalists Washington, Gonzaga, Arizona, Kentucky and Tennessee.
On his Twitter account, Banchero posted a picture of himself in a No. 5 Duke jersey and wrote “End Of The Beginning … Committed.”
It’s a tough recruiting loss for Washington, considering Banchero had been its No. 1 target whose parents played for the Huskies. His mother Rhonda was a three-time all-Pac-10 center who once held the school’s all-time scoring record for the women’s basketball team while his father Mario played football.
Rivals.com ranks Banchero, a 6-foot-9 forward, as the No. 2 overall player in the 2021 class. He’s listed as the No. 3 overall prospect by 247sports and ESPN has him at No. 4.
As a sophomore, Banchero led O’Dea to a Class 3A state championship. Last season, he averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks while guiding the Fighting Irish to a second-place finish in the state tournament.
The Huskies have secured one verbal commitment from their 2020 recruiting targets, Olympia High 6-9 center Jackson Grant. The four-star prospect is listed as the No. 2 player in Washington behind Banchero. Grant, who picked UW over Wisconsin, Oklahoma, California and Stanford, is ranked No. 53 in the nation by 247Sports.