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NBA Draft Top Picks Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren and Jaden Hardy Talk Performance Tech with SportTechie

By

Andrew Cohen

Ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft at Barclays Center, SportTechie spoke with projected top picks Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren and Jaden Hardy at an event held Tuesday at the Smokey Vale barbershop in Brooklyn, NY. The prospects highlighted Catapult’s wearable devices and a playbook learning software from Virtual Repetitions as some of the performance technologies they’ve used during training.  

The event was hosted by electric shaver brand Phillips as part of its campaign to promote its Norelco OneBlade razor. While starring as a freshman at Duke last season, Banchero and his teammates wore Captault’s GPS tracking-device in a pouch under their jerseys during practices and games. Data from the device was reviewed by Duke’s sports science staff for player load management purposes.  

“We were able to see how fast you were running, outputs, stuff like that. After a loss you were able to see, these are our stats from Catapult, and after a win these are our stats and compare,” Banchero said Tuesday. “If a player is tired or playing extended minutes, you’ll be able to see their decline or increase off the Catapult. It definitely gives you a good idea of how the player is performing.” 

Hardy skipped college to play for the NBA G League Ignite team this past season and recalls using a similar tracking wearable. “In practices and games, they used to put a tracker in our shorts to track the distance we were running. One time our trainer told me I ran almost five miles, I was like dang.” 

While Hardy is projected to be selected in the second-half of the first round, Banchero and Holmgren are both expected to be drafted within the top-three picks. Holmgren, the former Gonzaga star repped by WME Sports and BDA Sports, signed an NIL deal with online playbook software Virtual Repetitions (VReps). 

“There’s an app called VReps I’ve used that’s a pretty cool concept,” the 7-foot-1 Holmgren said. “You input plays onto the app and put on some VR goggles, and it’s almost like you’re playing [NBA] 2K except you’re going over plays.” 

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