So it’s 2003 and there’s this kid, Vincent Banks, and he’s really good at basketball. Like he’s-one-of-the-best-high-school-players-in-the-country good. He’s from Atlanta, so there’s no shortage of exposure. He decides to go to Miami, but doesn’t qualify academically. So he goes to prep school for a year then heads to Cincinnati to play for Bob Huggins. He ends up a partial qualifier for the Bearcats and has to sit out a year and then, finally, when he’s going to be the focus of Cincy’s offense … he decides to leave school for personal reasons, leaving Huggy Bear and Cincy and the whole lot of them feeling foolish for going to bat for him. And then he gets on a plane from Sydney to LA and nobody sees him for almost six months.
Just kidding about the plane. But I’m not kidding about the kid. Or, I guess, he’s a man now. Either way, he’s getting a second chance. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound shooting guard has signed with defending Region VI champ Garden City Community College, according to coach Kris Baumann, and should make a big impact … if he can make it to the season.
That’s a big IF.
I’m saying that because this story plays out all over the Jayhawk every year. Tremendous talent. Big-time player. Can’t hack it academically. Not tough enough mentally. Too used to being coddled. And … see you, never. But if anybody can make it work, it’s Baumann, who spun a similar situation with Wyoming’s Thomas Manzano — last year’s Region VI tourney MVP from GCCC — into the first NJCAA Tournament for the Busters since I Like Ike.
Here’s a video below of Banks. The first minute are just still shots of Banks, so go to :50 to see highlights of him in an Atlanta Pro-Am league last summer, where Rudy Gay, Jarrett Jack (not Jared, as the vid indicates) and Mario West all have trouble guarding him. And if you want a couple of WHOA moments, just watch from 4:55-5:00. Dude has unlimited range. Let’s just hope Banks won’t have to play point guard.
I’m outta here. Wish me luck at Braeburn tomorrow.