Paulo Banchero's NBA Debut Jersey Up for Auction
On May 16, 2021, Paulo Banchero made his NBA debut for the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 107-94, but Banchero put up a respectable stat line of 9 points and 5 rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench. Now, just one week later, his game-worn jersey from that debut is up for auction.
The auction, which is being hosted by sports memorabilia website NBA Auctions, will open on May 24 and close on May 31. According to the listing, "all proceeds from this auction will go to support Paulo's college fund." The current bid (as of May 23) is $610.
Who is Paulo Banchero?
Paulo Banchero is a 20-year-old rookie out of Gonzaga University. He was born in Kenya to two Nepalese parents and moved to the United States at age 3. He grew up in Seattle, Washington and played high school basketball at O'Dea High School.
Banchero originally committed to play collegiately at Duke University but ultimately decided to stay closer to home and attend Gonzaga. He was a key player for the Bulldogs during his two seasons there, averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
After going undrafted in the 2020 NBA Draft, Banchero signed with the Charlotte Hornets on a two-way contract. He spent most of the 2020-2021 season with the Hornets' G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, but was called up to the big club in late April 2021.
What's so special about this jersey?
This particular jersey holds significance not just because it was worn by a player making his NBA debut, but also because it could be seen as a symbol of hope and opportunity.
Banchero is one of only a handful of players of Nepalese descent to ever play in the NBA. His story serves as an inspiration to Nepalese people all over the world—and especially kids who might see someone like them achieving their dreams and think "if he can do it, maybe I can too."
Paulo Banchero's game-worn NBA debut jersey is currently up for auction on NBA Auctions, with all proceeds going towards his college fund. This particular jersey holds significant historical value not just because it was worn by a player making his NBA debut, but also because Banchero is one of only a handful of players of Nepalese descent to ever play in the NBA. If you're a Charlotte Hornets fan or simply want to support a good cause, head over to NBA Auctions and place your bid today!