If you look around the NBA, there are Duke alumni everywhere. In fact, 25 players from the Blue Devils are currently in the Association, including Orlando Magic phenom Paolo Banchero, who is surely a lock to win Rookie of the Year. And as Banchero explained recently to Basketball News, the Duke brotherhood played a huge part in his development from college to the pros.

“Everyone hears ‘The Brotherhood’ being used and probably thinks it’s corny, but it’s a real thing,” Banchero said. “Jayson Tatum isn’t the only one [who’s helped me]. I’ve talked to Zion [Williamson] plenty of times. I’ve talked to Grant Hill a lot and he’s helped me a lot. A lot of guys would come back [to Duke], like Jahlil Okafor came back, R.J. Barrett came back. All of those guys, they’re just around and they try to get back any time that they can. And if they were in the same city that we were playing in back in college, we’d have guys coming to the games.

“It’s just an elevator where they send it back down and help the next guys out. I was definitely helped by that, talking to those guys in college and hearing from those guys. It helps you a lot.”

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Having the Duke alum coming back to Durham to practice with the Blue Devils and offer their expertise can’t do anything but help. It showed guys like Paolo Banchero that playing at the next level is a serious reality, especially under the now-retired Coach K, who is well-respected across the basketball world. Jayson Tatum in particular has long been a mentor for Banchero, but as he mentioned, the rookie forward has also spoken to the likes of Zion Williamson, Grant Hill, and Jahlil Okafor.

By the looks of it, Banchero is well on his way to being the next Duke star in the NBA. The 20-year-old is averaging 20.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 3.8 APG on 43% shooting from the field. The Magic might be a ways off contending, but it appears they have a franchise cornerstone.