Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
The 5-foot-5 point guard will be looking to showcase his talents in the VHSL all-star game.
The Roanoke Times | File February
Point guard Marcus Banks (right) was a four-year starter for Patrick Henry, where he is the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
There is a common reaction when basketball fans get their first look at recent Patrick Henry graduate Marcus Banks.
Given time, spectators at Monday’s Virginia High School League all-star game in Newport News are likely to form some other conclusions.
He’s a bona fide talent.
Banks was a four-year starter for the Patriots and finished his career with 1,511 points, shattering the previous school record established by Chuck Kepley.
“Marcus, for four years, fought that 5-5, small-man [stereotype],” Patrick Henry coach Jack Esworthy said.
‘When you say ‘the all-time leading scorer in Patrick Henry history,’ you’re passing a George Lynch, a Troy Manns, a Curtis Staples, a Kepley, know what I mean? You’re passing some damned good players.”
All four of those players went on to play for ACC programs or programs that subsequently have joined the ACC.
Banks will be going to Potomac State, a two-year program in Keyser, W.Va., located 65 miles northwest of Winchester.
“It’s a really good JUCO,” Esworthy said. “I think they had something like nine seniors last year that signed. The coach [Justin Anderson] wanted him bad and followed him throughout the season.”
Esworthy said Banks had a scholarship offer from Maryland-Eastern Shore, a Division I program, but fell short of the required SAT score.
“A couple of other MEAC schools offered, and there were some Big South schools that were ready to take him if he had qualified,” Esworthy said.
Banks sees the all-star game as another opportunity to show his size is not a limitation.
“I feel there were a lot of schools that felt my height was a problem,” Banks said. “I went to Potomac State because their organization is surrounded by small guards, and they play a transition game, which I like.
“I feel like I’ve proved what I had to, but there’s still more to improve on. You can always do something extra.”
Banks wasn’t surprised that he was named to the all-star team until he noticed that some of his biggest rivals had not been invited to play.
Esworthy noted that Banks was one of the original picks and was not a late addition following the withdrawals.
“You’ve not only got his scoring,” Esworthy said, “but in the Western Valley District, he’s a three-time champion, tournament and regular-season. When that 2010 team left us, we lost six seniors. Marcus was the only returning player from that team and took us to a 22-4 record [in 2011].
“College coaches would tell me, ‘We really love Marcus, How tall is he?’ I’d say, ‘5-5.’ and they’d say, “I’m not into 5-5 guards.’ I heard that a million times. This is just one more chance to show he can play with anybody.”
Weather JournalNext system: Possible ice/snow Sat.