Paolo Banchero, projected first-pick in the upcoming 2021 NBA draft, and a lock to be selected as a lottery pick, has faced controversy after being cited with aiding and abetting a DWI last month. Banchero and teammate Michael Savarino (grandson of former Duke coach, Mike Krzyzewski) were both arrested the morning of November 14. Savarino tested a .08 BAC after being pulled over for a stop sign violation.
The 2017 white Jeep that Savarino was driving is currently registered to Banchero through Dreamworks Motorsports, 30 miles away, in Roxboro, NC. Dreamworks is a business specializing in custom vehicles for celebrities – mostly athletes. Before July 1, 2021, college athletes were not permitted to make money off endorsements. After the rule change, Banchero, among other high-profile athletes, including former Duke superstar Zion Williamson, signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA). CAA struck a deal with Dreamworks on Banchero’s behalf and they gave him a custom vehicle.
Both Savarino and Banchero were released with the latter getting a lesser charge while agreeing to appear in court on December 8. Savarino is currently suspended from the team, and his return is contingent on his adherence to team policies and the outcome of his DWI charge. When asked about the situation, Banchero stated: “You can’t really say much about it, but we learned from it and handled it as a team. We moved on and we want to get on with our season.” Banchero played in Duke’s 92-52 rout against Gardner Webb a few days after the incident and posted ten points and eight rebounds.
Makes you wonder what else is going on behind the scenes at Duke… #FireJonScheyer