FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 19: Paolo Banchero #5 of O’Dea High School against Blanche Ely High School during the City of Palms Classic Day 2 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on December 19, 2019 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

With the release of NBA 2k22, one college basketball from the Duke Blue Devils makes history with the video game franchise. Paolo Banchero becomes the first collegiate player in NBA2k history to appear in the game as himself.

With the popularity of video games, sports and how involved younger audiences are in the gaming scene via streaming sites like Twitch, it may seem strange this is only happening. But, prior to this, college athletes weren’t able sell or monetize their names or likeness the same way professional athletes do.

Thanks to recent legislation, players in college can now sign contracts and profit off their name and likeness. Banchero is now set to be the first playable college athlete in the NBA 2k games as a result. He’s also set to help create additional content with 2k Sports outside of the game throughout the season.

What exactly makes Paolo Banchero so special to have scored this first of it’s kind deal? Despite having sat out this last season he has earned many accolades on the court including being named Washington Gatorade Player of the Year two years ago. His stats speak for themselves as well and have people talking that he may be one of the first overall picks in the NBA next season.

He may be the first, but Banchero will certainly not be the last. Keep your eyes out for more collegiate players makin the jump to the digital space, including in other games like Madden.

Feature Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images