Duke hoops DWI update: Paolo Banchero’s car linked to the customizer

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Duke basketball players indicted

Two Duke basketball players face charges in Orange County, North Carolina, following an impaired driving arrest on November 14, 2021. Court records show that Michael Savarino, Duke’s trainer Mike Krzyzewski’s grandson, has been arrested for DWI while freshman star Paolo Banchero is accused of aiding and complicit in a DWI offense. Here are some stories related to the incident.

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Paolo Banchero’s arrival at Duke as one of the nation’s top freshman basketball players, coinciding with the NCAA’s now allowing athletes to make marketing deals, has brought him business opportunities. unprecedented.

One of them is with Dreamworks Motorsports, a Roxboro-based company that specializes in customizing cars for celebrities, mostly athletes.

The white 2017 Jeep Michael Savarino was driving when NC Highway Patrol officers saw him pass through a stop sign early Sunday morning in rural Orange County being recorded in Banchero via Dreamworks.

The company’s Roxboro address on Leasburg Road is listed on police reports detailing Savarino’s subsequent driving during an impaired arrest and the citation Banchero received for a lesser charge of DWI aiding and abetting.

Prior to July 1, when the NCAA changed its long-standing policy that barred college athletes from making money from endorsements, such an arrangement would have come to the attention of the NCAA as a possible rule violation. .

In the new world where athletes can take advantage of their name, image and likeness, the agreement is now standard operating procedure.

Sponsorship agreements for university stars

Banchero, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward from Seattle who is already screened as the possible No.1 pick in the NBA overall standings next summer, has signed a deal with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for deals marketing last August. Sports marketing giant CAA also represents former Duke star and current New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, among others.

At the beginning of September, Banchero became the first college player to sign a deal to appear in the popular NBA2K video game. The latest version of the game, NBA2K22, was released on September 9.

On September 28, he signed a multi-year contract with Panini, a trading card and collectibles company.

The deal with Dreamworks grew out of CAA’s aggressive approach to land a car approval deal in Banchero.

According to a copy of the CAA pitch, obtained by the News & Observer, the CAA asked a company to provide Banchero with a loaner vehicle for the NCAA season in exchange for in-store appearances, his use in advertising, 25 autographs for company use, a game of worn shoes and tickets to Duke’s home games.

“Paolo is obviously a world class athlete,” the letter reads, “but once you meet him you will see that he is an even more impressive person off the pitch.”

Messages left to Adam Wolfe, president of Dreamworks, by the News & Observer on Tuesday and Wednesday were not returned.

Famous Customers of Custom Car Store

Founded in December 1996 to serve local Roxboro customers, Dreamworks eventually expanded into the celebrity world to provide custom vehicles. Dreamworks website listings Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski and Michael Jordan as clients, as well as professional athletes from various colleges including Zion Williamson, Allen Iverson, Jerry Stackhouse, Kyrie Irving as well as football players Odell Beckham, Jr. and Mario Williams .

Another of the clients included on the website is Henry Ruggs, an NFL wide receiver from Alabama who was the Las Vegas Raiders’ first-round pick in 2020. Dreamworks has customized a Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray for Ruggs and details and photos of the car are posted on the company’s website. On November 2, Ruggs was driving this vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.161 to 156 mph when it crashed into a Toyota RAV4, killing its 23-year-old driver and dog.

Duke’s assistant coach Nolan Smith, the 2011 ACC Player of the Year during his Blue Devil playing career, is also a client of Dreamworks. Pictures of his white 2017 Jeep Wrangler are on the Dreamworks website.

Krzyzewski’s grandson Savarino is temporarily absent from Duke’s basketball team pending the outcome of his DWI charges and the outcome of the school’s student disciplinary process. In accordance with the NC law, his driving license is automatically suspended for 30 days.

Banchero appeared in court on December 8 in Orange County for complicity in DWI.

This story was originally published November 17, 2021 2:10 pm.

Steve Wiseman has covered Duke’s athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and the Raleigh News & Observer. He placed second in both rhythm writing and breaking news in the 2019 Associated Press Sports Editors National Competition. Previously, Steve worked for The State (Columbia, SC), Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, SC), The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.), Charlotte Observer and Hickory (NC) Daily Record covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the SC General Assembly. He has won numerous awards from state-level press associations. Steve graduated from Illinois State University in 1989.


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