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On RJ Hampton’s new podcast, Orlando Magic star rookie Paolo Banchero told his teammate some of the weird things he had to go through at Duke University.

(Via The Young Person Basketball Podcast with RJ Hampton):

Banchero on the difference between Seattle & Duke:

“In high school, you’re highly ranked, but everyone’s known you since you grew up there. So no one looks at you like this big superstar, everyone just looked at me as Paolo. In high school, I’d go to the mall, go eat anywhere. Like, ‘I’m good.’ I wasn’t ever getting bothered. Or if I did, it was just somebody I knew. But going to Duke, it was just totally different. It was like you were a celebrity. They treated you like you were royalty there if you were on the basketball team. Being in my position, being the highly touted player, and the one who everybody knows, it was just kinda elevated even more. It took a lot of getting used to, but it helped me just prepare for coming into the NBA.”

Banchero describes feeling like a zoo animal while in college:

“I love Duke by far, but sometimes it would be like I was a zoo animal or something. On God. In class, you would see them over there whispering about you, staring at you. I caught people trying to record me. I caught more than a few people trying to sneak record me. And I’d be like, ‘Yo. Just come say what’s up, bro.’ Like, ‘What’s your name? You ain’t gotta catch me on camera. You ain’t gotta do all that, bro. If you’re gonna do all that, you might as well come say what’s up. You’re my teammates.’ It was just OD, honestly. I had a dorm room. And at Duke, all the freshmen, they stay in Wilson. It’s a dorm. And you stay with other students, you stay with girls, boys, other freshmen. I always tried to be lowkey. Not going out a bunch. Just chilling. Trying to just be low. 

“But eventually, people found out where I stay. They knew I stayed in Wilson. They knew what my car looked like. They didn’t know my dorm, but eventually people found out. So my classmates would start bringing their families, like their brother, their sister, their mom and dad, to my dorm. Knocking on my door. It would be like a Sunday morning, bro, and I’d get a knock on my door. I’d be like, ‘What?’ And I’d open my door, and it’s a mom, dad, their daughter who goes to Duke, and their little brother. Like, ‘We just wanted to say hi!’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, no.’ I’m just like, ‘Damn.’ There’s pictures of people posted up in front of my dorm room like, ‘Don’t wake Paolo!’ It’s just crazy stuff, bro. It was a good experience though. I definitely enjoyed it.”