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Two Duke men's basketball players face DWI-related charges

Michael Savarino and Paolo Banchero
Duke Athletics
Roster | Media Guide
Michael Savarino was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Paolo Banchero was charged with aiding and abetting DWI.

Two Duke men’s basketball players face DWI-related charges after being stopped in Orange County on Sunday morning, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Highway Patrol confirmed to WUNC.

Michael Savarino, who is head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s grandson, was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Paolo Banchero — who is expected to be a top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft — was charged with aiding and abetting DWI.

In a statement from Duke Athletics, Krzyzewski said, “We are reviewing a legal matter involving two members of the men’s basketball team. Any further actions as a result of this situation will ultimately be determined by the Vice President/Director of Athletics and University officials.”

Just hours after Duke beat Campbell at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday night, Savarino, 20, was stopped around 1:10 a.m. Sunday morning in Orange County at the intersection of Bushy Creek Road and W. Ten Road, just west of Hillsborough, police said. A NC Highway Patrolman pulled Savarino over for a stop sign violation. Banchero was a passenger.

During the stop, the patrolman “observed signs of impairment” and “formed the opinion” that Savarino was impaired, police said. He was arrested without incident and transported to a nearby precinct where a breathalyzer test was administered, showing Savarino had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of 0.08%.

Savarino was also charged with the stop sign violation and driving after consuming alcohol under the age of 21. His driver's license was also revoked for 30 days, according to court records.

Police said Banchero, 19, was charged and released at the scene.

Captain C. P. McDade said the Orange County Sherriff’s Office did not have any involvement with the incident.

Army Duke Basketball
Ben McKeown
Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski awaits the start of an NCAA college basketball game against Army in Durham, N.C., Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

The Raleigh News & Observer was the first to report on the charges. Savarino and Banchero both have upcoming court dates in December — Savarino is scheduled to appear in Orange County on Dec. 9 and Banchero on Dec. 15, according to court records.

Duke is 3-0 this season and ranked No. 7 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Blue Devils host Gardner-Webb on Tuesday night. Savarino and Banchero’s status for that game is unknown.

Banchero — a freshman from Seattle, Washington — was tabbed as the preseason ACC Player of the Year. He leads the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounding with 19.3 points and 8.7 boards per-game. Savarino has played in just one game this season.

Krzyzewski announced last spring that this season would be his last as Duke's head coach.

Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. His past work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
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