Paolo Banchero's ever-growing status has made Gianmarco Pozzecco and Gianni Petrucci pessimistic about the possibility that the 2023 NBA Rookie of The Year will end up playing for Italy.

Credit: FIBA-Scanpix
Credit FIBA-Scanpix

Gianmarco Pozzecco, fresh off the draw for next summer's World Cup, was interviewed by Tuttosport and, in addition to the FIBA competition, he also spoke about the possible recruitment of Paolo Banchero, recently awarded as Rookie of the Year in the NBA.

Paolo Banchero

Paolo  Banchero
Paolo  Banchero
MIN: 33.74
PTS: 19.96 (52.72%)
REB: 6.9
As: 3.74
ST: 0.83
BL: 0.54
TO: 2.78
GM: 72

The words of the Italian coach, compared to his enthusiastic statements a few months ago, show that no progress has been made.

"We must acknowledge that the scenario has changed," Pozzecco admitted.

"The Italian Federation identified a great talent, which is also endowed with great moral principles. Due to COVID, he could not come earlier. Then, he grew beyond the most optimistic predictions," Pozzecco continued.

"We are glad that he deserved it, now his choice is more difficult. Banchero is an extremely serious guy, not only focused on himself, and has clear ideas. He has a way of playing and an understanding of basketball at such a level that he can adjust anywhere.

We were dreaming and keeping our hopes alive, but everything has changed. He will give us an answer in a timely manner, I'm sure. In the meantime, we're moving on," the Italian NT play-caller stressed.

His father Mario's parents were of Ligurian origins and Banchero obtained Italian citizenship in 2020, along with the right to choose a national team. His last contact with the Italian Federation dates back to two months ago.

"We agreed that we would talk at the end of his season in the NBA," Gianni Petrucci recently recalled.

"But now we are on hold."

Petrucci told La Repubblica that he was "more pessimistic than optimistic” since that discussion hasn't taken place. 

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