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YouTube Gold: Gene Banks Answers Showtime With More Showtime

What a memorable outing for the Duke legend

San Antonio Spurs v Washington Bullets
Gene Banks taking on the Washington Bullets

Duke’s first Black player was CB Claiborne, who came to Duke on an academic scholarship and also played basketball for Vic Bubas from 1966-69. However, Duke integrated slowly and when Bubas retired, the program fell off for several years, which, along with three coaching changes in the 1970’s, made recruiting harder.

Duke’s Black players in the 1970’s included Willie Hodge, Kenny Young, George Moses, Edgar Burch, John Harrell, Harold Morrison and Vince Taylor.

None of them were remotely near Banks athletically - but few people were.

Banks came to Duke with the body of a Greek god despite not really having lifted weights. He could have left for the NBA after his freshman year and made great money by the standards of the day. However, he decided to stay for all four seasons, including his final season under a new guy with a name that no one could pronounce, Mike Krzyzewski (people learned how to say it soon enough).

In the NBA, he was still athletic, but he was closer to 6-6 than 6-8 and his game didn’t fully translate to the league. And later in his career, injuries really cost him.

In this game from 1983 however, against the Showtime era Los Angeles Lakers, Banks had one of the best games ever by a San Antonio Spur, lighting up LA for 44 points.

He was a brilliant player and for Duke, a transformative one. It’s fun to see him tear up the Lakers here.