April 7, 2014 |
Ja'Quan Newton arrived at the Markward Club banquet to claim his award as the area's player of the year, and was asked to pose for pictures. Before venturing in front of the camera, the Neumann-Goretti senior walked up to the trophy he was about to receive. Newton's name was etched into a small, silver rectangular plaque and nailed into a wood base. Dedications to the senior seasons of Rasheed Wallace, Rasual Butler, Guy Rodgers, and Gene Banks - top city players of lore - surrounded Newton's name.
July 18, 2013 |
From people packing playgrounds near 59th Street and Lancaster Avenue to fans flocking to NBA arenas to watch him deliver a two-handed tomahawk dunk, Lewis Lloyd will forever be a Philadelphia basketball legend. Last week he strutted through the Gallagher Center at Philadelphia University during the Reebok Classic Breakout. He flipped his black fitted hat backward mid-stride. In bold red letters it read "Black Magic" - the nickname he earned playing ball in West Philly. It was as if nothing had changed.
May 21, 2013 |
IT'S NO SECRET that a lot of legendary players have hooped it up at New York City playgrounds. On Wednesday, the documentary "Doin' it in the Park" opens in the Big Apple - a homage to the city's courts and players. As far as we know, no one has done a similar film about Philly, even though the city has a rich history of guys and girls who honed their skills in pickup games on asphalt courts. Players like (in no particular order), Wilt Chamberlain, Hank Gathers, Bo Kimble, Gene Banks, Bryant "Sad Eyes" Watson, Guy Rodgers, Earl Monroe, Walt Hazzard, Lewis "Black Magic" Lloyd, Aaron "AO" Owens, Randy Woods, Wali Jones, Lionel Simmons, Marilyn Stephens, Linda Page, Yolanda Laney and Debbie Lytle.
March 28, 2013
Stephen Vasturia and Megan McGurk won overall male and female players of the year at the Markward Club annual dinner Wednesday. Vasturia, of St. Joe's Prep, was the Catholic League's best. McGurk, of the Academy of Notre Dame, was the Catholic Academies League's best. Others honored included: Julian Moore, Germantown Academy, Inter-Ac; Brandon Austin, Imhotep, Public League; Alexis Hofstaedter, Council Rock South, Suburbs; Sarah Curran, Carroll, Catholic League. Gene Banks was the guest speaker.
September 29, 2012
Former West Philadelphia High basketball star Gene Banks will be among seven honorees Sunday at the Philadelphia Association of Black Sports and Culture legends banquet. The banquet will be held at Oaks Ballroom, 511 W. Oak Lane, Glenolden. The doors will open at 2 p.m. Banks is an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards. He graduated from West Philadelphia in 1977 and starred at Duke before playing six seasons in the NBA with Chicago and San Antonio. He was seen by many as the city's best high school player since Wilt Chamberlain, who graduated from Overbrook High in 1955.
February 20, 1999 |
When he looks back on his life in basketball, Gene Banks feels truly blessed. "I'm not just saying that," Banks said. "I've been able to do everything I've always dreamed of doing. Everything. " Well, almost everything. "One last thing I would love to do," Banks said. "I would love to be mayor of Philadelphia. That would be a dream come true. " For now, Banks will have to settle for being a Philadelphia high school hoops legend, one whose exploits for the West Philadelphia Speedboys in the mid-1970s are still mentioned in the same breath as the feats of Wilt Chamberlain.
January 23, 1997 |
The similarities don't end with the name. In fact, they just begin there. But Gene Banks is largely ambivalent about the comparisons to his father these days. Yes, he is the son of the more famous Gene Banks, the one who helped lead the West Philadelphia basketball team to national prominence in the 1970s, the one who went on to a spectacular career at Duke and played in the NBA for most of the '80s. No, the two aren't close. It's that simple. The contact between father and son over the years has been sporadic at best.
July 8, 1990 |
Gene Banks says his yearning for an NBA championship ring has never been greater. To have another chance for that, Banks says, he would do almost anything. He would play for a scandalously low salary by NBA standards, take the most thankless role offered him and exhaust himself totally in his quest. Gene Banks, 31, hasn't played in the NBA for three years. Clearly, he misses it. Now the former West Philadelphia High star must prove that he belongs. Could he help the 76ers?
August 12, 1989 |
The sturdy body is still there and the sudden ferocity under the basket has remained as well, but time will not stand still for Gene Banks. If it seems like yesterday that Banks and his high school contemporaries lit up the Philadelphia nights, you should sit down. Gene Banks is 30 years old and using the thin thread of tryout camps to pull himself back into the NBA. It has been more than 12 years since the strong 6-foot-7 forward finished up at West Philadelphia High and chose Duke University.
June 9, 1988 |
Whether the National Basketball Association is ready or not, the Charles Baker League will be back for another summer season. League organizer Sonny Hill said that the league, closed last summer because of a contractual flap between Gene Banks and the Chicago Bulls, would reopen in mid-July, despite the fact that the NBA has not yet sanctioned it. Hill said that he wrote to the NBA in January, suggesting a sanctioning process along the...