Former Duke star Banks to teach camp in Plymouth
By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
PLYMOUTH — On Saturday, Plymouth will welcome in former Duke basketball star Gene Banks for the Second Annual Eugene Banks NBA Celebrity Basketball Camp.
Banks is a former NBA player who attended Duke University, and was inducted into the Duke Hall of Fame in 1994.
While at Duke, Banks was a member of the 1978 Final Four team that finished as National runner-up. During that season he averaged 17.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists to earn the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Rookie of the Year award. The Philadelphia native also was named Duke’s Team MVP three different times. He is one of three Duke stars ever to record a triple-double — Art Heyman and Shelden Williams are the other two — when he logged 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against Lehigh on Jan. 9, 1978. He finished his collegiate career with averages of 16.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
In the 1981 NBA draft, the San Antonio Spurs made Banks the 28th overall pick. He played four seasons with the Spurs before moving onto the Chicago Bulls to play two years. The 6’7” forward ended his NBA career in 1987 with career averages of 11.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
Nearly 50 kids are expected to attend the camp, where they will learn everything from basketball skills to team unity. The camp will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Plymouth High School. In the morning, the kids will participate in team drills, then play in a tournament in the afternoon.
This years camp will also be held with a heavy heart. Camp founders are dedicating this years camp to the memory of John Harrell, a former teammate of Banks’ on the 1978 Final Four team. Harrell attended last years camp, but passed away three weeks ago after a heart aneuryism.