Paolo Banchero said his dazzling NBA debut was a moment he had "been working for my whole life" after showing why the Orlando Magic made him the first overall pick.
The 19-year-old American-Italian set a Magic points record for a rookie by scoring 27 points with 11-of-18 shooting against the Detroit Pistons, also claiming nine rebounds and providing five assists.
Banchero, who shone for Duke before declaring himself for the 2022 NBA Draft, could not prevent the Magic losing the game 113-109, but his bow at the top level was still one to savour.
The previous most points scored by a Magic rookie on debut was 13 by Mo Bamba four years ago, and Banchero soon sauntered past that mark, while Jaden Ivey did likewise, finishing with 19 points.
Banchero became the first player since LeBron James in 2003 to have a 25-5-5 game or better on debut in the NBA.
His points tally was the most by a number one overall pick on his NBA bow since Allen Iverson scored 30 for the Philadelphia 76ers against the Milwaukee Bucks in November 1996, ESPN said.
"[It is] a moment that you've been working for my whole life – trying to get to this point right here," Banchero said. "It's definitely a milestone.
"I'm proud of myself for getting here. But also, this is the start. It's not the end. You just have to come in and be prepared, be ready and play our best, play my hardest."
He added: "Obviously, would have liked to win. But I just wanted to play hard, play for the team, and that happened, so it's a blessing."
What's more, Banchero felt it could have gone even better on a personal level.
"It's crazy. I felt like I left a lot of points on the board," he said.
"Credit to my team-mates for finding me. It's always nice to see the ball get in that early, get easy buckets around the rim. That's how I try to play, inside out. Try to get easy stuff around the basket and expand out and do more stuff throughout the game."