The Orlando Magic’s Paolo Banchero was named NBA rookie of the year on Tuesday after a dazzling debut season in the league.
Banchero, the No.1 pick in last year’s draft, earned 98 out of 100 first place votes in the preferential ballot to determine the award.
The 20-year-old averaged 20 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his maiden season and was a key figure in Orlando’s resurgence.
Banchero made an immediate impact in the league, scoring 29 points with nine rebounds and five assists in his first game for Orlando last October.
Banchero told TNT television in an interview on Tuesday he had targeted winning rookie of the year as soon as he was drafted.
“It was just a goal I’ve always had, something I had my eye on from the second I got drafted,” Banchero said. “I’m glad I was able to do it.”
Banchero’s season also saw him score 20 or more points across 40 games — matching the tally LeBron James set in his rookie year.
Banchero is the 22nd player chosen with the first pick in the draft to win rookie of the year.
Oklahoma City’s Jalen Williams was second in the voting for the award, while Utah’s Walker Kessler placed third.
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