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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Two Duke basketball players, including Coach K’s grandson, cited on DWI-related charges

Two Duke University basketball players — the head coach’s grandson and a top NBA prospect — face charges related to driving while impaired, North Carolina officials said.

Authorities said Michael Savarino, 20, the grandson of coach Mike Krzyzewski, was driving Paolo Banchero’s Jeep when he was pulled over shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday for a stop sign violation, according to documents obtained by NBC affiliate WRAL of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Savarino admitted to a state trooper that he’d had “several shots,” and he blew a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent, according to the report obtained by WRAL and confirmed by an Orange County Superior Court clerk.

Savarino was charged with driving while impaired and driving after consuming under the age of 21, WRAL reported, citing court records.

Banchero, 19, a passenger, was cited for aiding and abetting DWI, the court clerk said.

Attorneys for Savarino and Banchero did not immediately return requests for comment Tuesday night.

Michael Savarino, No. 30, of the Duke Blue Devils in a game at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., on Oct. 15.Lance King / Getty Images file

Krzyzewski, known as “Coach K,” said after Duke’s victory Tuesday night against Gardner-Webb University that there was a “violation of our standards, and we’ll handle that internally.”

“We’ve already handled — are handling it — but a violation of our standards,” he said.

Krzyzewski said in an earlier statement that the issue was under review.

“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,” Krzyzewski said.

Banchero, one of last year’s most coveted recruits, started in Tuesday night’s game against Gardner-Webb. He had 10 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Savarino did not play.

“It’s two different situations. Two entirely different situations. Headlines might make it look like it’s the same — it’s not,” Krzyzewski said. “The decisions we made are in conjunction with our authorities and my superiors. We’re taking action. We took action, and we will continue to take action.”

Krzyzewski, 74, is the winningest coach in college basketball. He has led the Blue Devils since 1980, with five national championships.

He announced in June that the 2021-22 season would be his last before retirement.

Savarino is expected to appear in court Dec. 9. Banchero is scheduled for a court date Dec. 15.

The Associated Press contributed.

Diana Dasrath and Phil Helsel and The Associated Press

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