Paolo Banchero, the 6-foot-10 forward who will be playing his college ball at the prestigious Duke University under legendary head coach Mike Kryzewski. Banchero, who is projected to be a top three pick in the 2022 NBA Draft will be featured in the new NBA 2K22 game as a playable character. Under the new NIL rules(Name, Image, Likeness) college athletes are now able to make money off their names from autographs, being in video games, and so on.
Banchero was ranked the No. 2 overall prospect in the class of 2021 by the 247Sports Composite. In the past gamers wanted to include current college stars into the 2K series but either had to create them or download rosters created by other game users that incorporated the player in certain franchise modes. The Financial terms of Banchero’s partnership have not been disclosed yet, but based on how popular the 2K series is, it exemplifies how college basketball is set to remain an attractive option for top prospects in the NIL era, while other college alternatives ,such as the G League Ignite program offer six-figure salaries, they don’t offer the exposure that playing college basketball provides.
Playing at Duke will surely heighten the exposure Banchero needs to increase his marketability, as Duke is ranked No. 8 in the early CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 entering the 2021-22 season.