Italian Basketball Federation official Salvatore Trainotti hopes that Italy’s National Team will have Paolo Banchero available for the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade.
The five-star prospect is getting the Italian passport and the hope of FIP is that FIBA will not consider him as “naturalized” players allowing Italbasket to use him and also Donte DiVincenzo (who is also close to getting the Italian passport) or Jeff Brooks or Christian Burns.
“About Mannion it is not the right moment to analyze the situation” Trainotti told Tuttosport.
Mannion, who has already debuted with Italy, is playing his freshman year in NCAA and is expected to declare for the NBA draft where he may be selected in the first round. And the NBA draft is scheduled during the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
“We are getting Paolo Banchero’s passport and we hope he won’t be considered by FIBA as naturalized player (FIBA allows one naturalized player to be on the roster of a national team per game). He had pressure to play for USA, but don’t be shocked if you will watch him play for Italy at OQT” Trainotti added. “DiVincenzo’s passport? We are waiting for technical times”.