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Reigning ROTY Paolo Banchero, Who Lost 7lbs Per Game Due to Rare Medical Condition, Admits Regret on Historic Duke Game: “If I knew…”

Published 11/06/2023, 7:52 AM EST

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Paolo Banchero‘s journey from a college standout to the first overall pick for the Orlando Magic in the 2022 NBA Draft has been nothing short of spectacular. In a single season, he transformed the struggling Magic from a 22-win team to a competitive force with 34 wins, earning them a coveted spot in the play-in tournament. He was averaging 20 points per game and had 15 games of at least 25 points, the highest among all rookies. It came as no surprise when he was honored with the prestigious Wilt Chamberlain trophy, cementing his status as one of the league’s rising stars.

While Paolo Banchero has left a trail of standout performances throughout his college and NBA career, there’s one memorable encounter he still looks back on. The historic showdown against Gonzaga in 2021, although memorable, seems to have left him with some lasting regrets.

Paolo Banchero gets candid about his historical Duke game

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Banchero’s 21-point performance propelled No. 5 Duke to an impressive 84-81 victory over top-ranked Gonzaga in the 2021 Continental Tire Challenge at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Notably, 20 of those points came in the first half. However, during the second half, Banchero faced challenges, frequently needing breaks due to cramps that affected his performance.

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Reportedly, the Orlando forward has a rare medical condition that would cause him to lose 7 pounds of sweat per game. As a result, the heavy sweating would cause cramping and other physical issues, stunting his performance on the court. One passionate fan shared a clip from Paolo’s dominant first-half performance during Duke’s game against the Zags, where he was truly in his element. In response, Paolo himself retweeted the video, reflecting on what could have been if one factor had been different. He humorously remarked, smh this was 40 if i knew what pedialyte was”.

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For those unfamiliar with Pedialyte, it’s an oral rehydration solution designed to control and prevent dehydration. Therefore, it could have been a potential game-changer for someone like Paolo dealing with such intense sweating. Pedialyte could have helped him manage his extraordinary sweating by replenishing the lost fluids, resulting in a 40-point performance.

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How has Banchero fared this season?

However, he looks to have found a way to tackle the sweating issue. Although the 6-foot-10 forward started his season with a few substandard performances, he soon found his groove. He produced a season-best 30 points as the Orlando Magic defeated the Utah Jazz in a 115-113 thriller. Another exceptional game followed this stellar performance.

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Paolo led Orlando to a comfortable 120-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Banchero made a significant impact with 25 points and 10 assists, effectively ending Orlando’s seven-game losing streak against the Lakers. If he continues this pace further into the season, he will make a strong case for an MVP candidate.

Watch this story: Joining Anthony Edwards and Austin Reaves, 20YO Paolo Banchero Set to Make a Mark on Global Platform

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Written by:

Darshita Daga

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Darshita Daga is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing Bachelor’s in English, she’s a fervent sports enthusiast with a keen interest in sports journalism, specifically covering the NBA. She feels that words have the potential to capture the spirit of a game, evaluate moves, and portray the emotions that occur both on and off the court.
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