Sunday, November 22, 2009

Duke Basketball...Is Under Way 2009-2010

As I start My season, with the NBA Washington Wizards, I still have a strong love for my Alma mater-the Duke Bluedevils of the ACC. I was very fortunate to be apart of Coach K's basketball fantasy camp this past summer and it was such a wonderful experience-full of fun. Yes, the men attending, play out their child hood fantasy, of being on the Cameron Indoor Stadium floor, being coached by former Duke legends and being able to have one-on-one with Coach K, the most fun was, interacting with the guys that worked hard and played with committed intensity. Most of these men are successful businessmen and family people, but they are as intensed as a Wojo, Hill or Banks (had to add that) What fun!

Coach K really put together a wonderful event and social gathering, not just for the men attending, but the former players such as myself and other legends. I look forward to being apart of it each year and look forward in seeing each and everyone. Great job coach and thanks for adding more memories to my adventures and making new friends. You always have my support with the program and family.

It has been 28 years since coach and I been together, in his teaching me more of the game and pushing me to be the ACC scoring champion (81') We even beat those Tar Heels, in an epic battle that went down to the wire with a last second shot to tie AND win, in my final game in Cameron.This aided in the producing of his youngest daughter (won't go there right now) and the beginning of an era of Duke basketball never to be surpassed. I am proud to be apart of such a fantastic tradition and even though my number isn't retired, my stats will speak for themselves and the time spent with such fantastic teammates as: "H" Morrison, Graybo, G-Man, Sparks, Juice, Klinger, V.T. (Vince Taylor), Larry Linney, Doug McNeely, Fonz, Bob Bender, Chip Engelland, and the Dog (Kenny Dennard) to name few, was and will be my most memorable moments my life. Thank you all, my Duke family and good luck this upcoming season. I will be pulling for you! GO DUKE!

Look for the Devils to have a productive season and go to higher heights and achievements.
The Cameron Crazies will loud, supportive and continue to be the best fans in the world. Love the Crazies! The ACC will pack with excitement this coming season and I believe, there will be a NEW ACC champion before March Madness.Guess Who?

PREDICTION: Duke 74 UNC 71 @ Cameron Indoor this upcoming season.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Giving Back" -Reconnecting With Our Roots & History

Gene Banks, former High School Philly legend, Duke All-American and NBA star, has embarked on another start-up program and this time, it's in his native "City of Brotherly Love"- Philadelphia.
Gene has formed the newly acclaimed "City Legends of Philadelphia" where in which this organization was developed, to reconnect all city legends with each other to make a difference in the communities of Philadelphia of where they grew up in.

"Reuniting the people that help build the foundation and tradition of city basketball, has been a goal and vision of mines for far too long and I know this venture will have an impact on the future of the city of Philadelphia," says Gene. Philadelphia has such a rich tradition of social leaders in the fields of athletics (Wilt Chamberlain) entertainment (Will Smith) music (Kenny Gamble) and civic social issues (Councilwoman Jeanie Blackwell) that it is vital, in this day an age, that we come together and form a solidarity unit and force, that will come up with ideas and resolutions for our youth, adults and communities, for a brighter future and not give just give "lip-service."

Even in this day of recession and economic strife, it always comes back to the basics- "it takes a village, to raise a child" and there is no better time to enact this proverb, than in today's circumstances and issues. "it was because someone stood, I stand" says the former USA No. 1 high school legend.

Besides developing the newly formed group (City Legends of Philadelphia) Gene still maintains his other foundation(The Gene Banks League) which caters and aids under-privileged youth in the state of North Carolina. Gene has also reconnected with NBA Hall of Fame Greats- Julius "Dr. J Erving, George "Iceman" Gervin and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. Each of which, were reared in inner-city environments, that were less than desirable, but went on to be great members and givers of society. Gene has been speaking nationwide on issues of community redevelopment, youth responsibility and education and has made a pledge to combat the ill-wills of societies traps and pit falls. "Our youth have been brainwashed to accept that life is of no meaning and instant gratification, is the only means of success without rules, boundaries and discipline. It is time now...especially men, to stand up and be accountable, responsible and give back to their roots of beginning. Their communities need strength . Their families need love. And God needs us to do what he sent His son to sacrifice, to nurture and really show and give love, the way it was meant to be...loving and caring for thy brethren.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Lou Williams Foundation...

I had the extraordinary moment, while visiting Philadelphia, in meeting some truly wonderful people, that traveled to the "City of Brotherly Love." The group was representing the newly formed Lou Williams Foundation. Lou Williams is a professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers. The Memphis native is in a rare class of NBA players where in which, he was drafted right out of high school to play in the NBA in 2005.

The people supporting this newly formed foundation were Ms. Kimberly Haynes, who serves as a chief consultant for the Ombi Group Company in Atlanta, Georgia. And there was the heart and soul of Lou...His mommy.

Lou graduated from South Gwinnett High School located in Snellville, Georgia. His talent put South Gwinnett HIgh School on the map. As a sophomore, he scored a season high 50 points. As a junior, he led his team to the Georgia 5A State Championship. As a senior, he was selected as a McDonald's All-American and named "Mr.Georgia Basketball."

One of his many top accomplishments was receiving the Naismith Award , signifying the nation's top high school player. Lou committed to play at the University of Georgia, but decided to be declared for the 2005 NBA draft. He was selected in the second round of the draft by the Sixers.
He is currently in his fourth season with just over 11 points per game with 3.3 assists.

Ok...that is all great! But...what makes this young man special, is his desire to give back to his community, city, state and the nation in-striving to empower and inspire youth by combining athletics, education and positive mentorship to motivate them to reach their highest level of success.

Lou conducts a basketball camp each summer a his Alma Mater in Georgia, But...Mr. Williams plans to to conduct a free camp for inner-city youth in Philadelphia. FREE??!! That speaks volume of a young man reaching out to help and heal communities and disadvantage youth.

The Lou Williams Foundation will choose three high school basketball teams and challenge them to make outstanding academic achievements. The schools will be from Memphis, Atlanta and Philadelphia. Each student is required to write an essay on the importance of acquiring a good education while pursuing his or her athletic goal. The best essay will be awarded the "Lou Williams Academic Baller of the Year" award and a scholarship to the college of his or her choice. And you notice it said his or hers ... That's right, the young ladies are truly involved the same as the young men.

We need more "Lou Williams" today and to have such a young start and be focused in touching young lives, when his is still upstarting, is truly a blessing and God send. I applaud Lou Williams for this effort and his staff of phenomenal people. I didn't even get to meet the young man, for he had to leave for practice before I arrived. But if the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, his mother, Janice, who serves as the executive director-shows you the fire, love and commitment of her son and this is a testament of her raising this exceptional young man.

For information and more details of this lovely foundation contact the foundation at:
3550 Centerville Hwy. Ste.107-228, Snellville, Georgia 30039. You can also email at: The and . If you would like to speak to the Executive Director, call (770) 860-0162- Ms. Janice Faulkner

Support this wonderful foundation and the youth there of and know that You...and Lou...can and will , make a difference in the lives of our youth of America.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Gene Banks, former Duke All-American and NBA stalwart, joined fellow basketball greats in San Antonio to honor basketball icon George Gervin alson known as the Iceman.
The three-day weekend event held in San Antonio, Texas in late March, was filled with spectators and NBA players gathering and sharing great memories. Former asketball greats such as Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, Otis Birdsong, JOhn Lucas, Bob Lanier, James Silas, Artis Gilmore, Mike Mitchell, Spencer Heywood, Ric Berry, Bill Russell and Dr. Julius Erving were present.

Banks said, "To be gathered along with such NBA greats, on the dias and be apart of the program as a speaker, had to be one of my most glorious moments in my sports life."

With more than 400 people in atendance, Banks had his turn at needling and roasting Gervin, but also gave a sincere speech about being blessed to have had the experience as an NBA player and witness the era, of Gervin and the Spurs. He also gave thanks to the NBA gerats by saying to them, "Thank you, for paving the way for us."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Let's Get This Over With...2008 Elections.

Ok...we have heard the rhetoric. We have heard the attacks. We have even heard who owns what and has what, compared to the rest of the nation. Obama has a mansion on the south side and McCain has 7 houses. Obama voted against this and that and McCain voted for 95% of Bush's policies and agendas. Now, the new theme is called "Change" which was adopted and created by Obama and THEN...taken and revised by McCain (go figure)

Do we believe that McCain is the prototype of George W; which would give us 4 more years of a portion if not all of Bush's policies and procedures? we believe that Obama is just the right touch for the nation,that is need of healing due to the last 8 years of this administration, that has crippled the nation.

The issues are up front and exposed of the economy. Wall Street is just one of major complications that has given this nation a wake-up call. So we are to just allowed the Wall Streeters to be rescued with 700 Billion plus dollars, when there is still Homelessness and major governmental programs for the middle and lower classes, that need support. Why not give these programs 700 Billion to support our nation and help our youth and elderly, the way we should and are perceive to do.

Why are some many immigrants coming to America, especially Mexican and Hispanic? Like everyone else that has come to this country, they look for the right of freedom and a better way of life. Not just Hispanics, but others as well from other nations. It is just the influx of many, that has the nation aware. Hispanics have a right to a better life and if we stand for that-so be it. The problem is that, now, the other minorities have been pushed back in their quest for a better life. Hispanics are energized to take advantage of these opportunities and we must admit, have been exceptional in doing so. This also has added "spice" to our country and nation and added to the diversity of all cultures that are already entwined. Italians, Polish, Jewish, German, Russian and Africans, are not the only ones that lay claim to this procedure. The other fact is- Hispanics (some) have moved directly into lower income neighborhoods, without the knowledge of those that live there. There should be at least a forum or discussion of these movements, of such magnitude. I fault the community leaders of such a blunder and lack of insight of these movements. The "man" isn't going to ask them if they can do it..."He" just does it and doesn't care what the African-American community thinks and could care less. African-Americans are also at fault. We lackadaisically stumble along and see things happening and do nothing about it and then complain of the action that was set forth. Another thing is we (African-Americans) have not taken care of our communities like we should. Fact being, there is a lack of pride of those lower income communities and a less-than-caring attitude. Our elected officials (who are black) tend to wear blinders and not even address the issue. Enough said, Hispanics are here to stay but they were here anyway before the mast influx. So they ARE...American (so to speak, the one's that were here) Because they didn't come through Ellis Island doesn't make them less than others that came through Ellis Island.

Now, Obama. What story can be more American than his? What diversity can be more in touch with America than his? With the nation boldly showing it's still manner of racism of " I won't vote for him because he is black" attitude, shows, that we have still a long way to go. Wow, It's ok for George W. to have done and do what he has and have half the globe, angry at us and lose jobs overseas, shake up the economy, go after WMD in a country that WE help nurture and murder a dictator. Even still, those that are living in rural areas have the same sentiments of racism and those that are privileged, are not going to give up their piece of the pie, that they have been enjoying. Ignorance is amongst us and flowing. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; said, we as Black folk must still work twice as hard and act in an appropriate manner that is acceptable to the standards that were set. Not like our today's Hip-Hop generation, where calling your woman and mothers Bitches and Ho's. Where nigger is an everyday comment out of the mouths of babies.

I can go on, and on, and on and on....but I won't. I am tired of this procedure of debates and tired of seeing the negative ads daily from both candidates. We know what shape this country is in and who help make it so. We know what is needed and where they are needed. We also know that this is only adding to a division of our nation to levels unseen since the height of slavery days.
I am not against Republicans, for every group and organization, has a right to govern their respected teams due to the Constitution. I am happy to see Black Republicans in their group even though I am a Democrat. I feel that the more Republicans that are represented of each creed, race or color, helps give an insight to the needs and voice of that respect group. I am not at all happy with the Democrats of my party either. They too faulter in getting it right, on the many issues that are among us. Politics is politics...but people are people, no matter what color they are. They all are suffering the same through this economy.

Do we need change? Are you kidding?
Do we need leadership that cares for the nation and world? Most definitely.
Do we need McCain? I don't feel at all comfortable with his desired leadership.
Do we need a VP like Sarah Palin? To me, it is still the biggest joke told or done by the Republicans.
Do we need Obama? There hasn't been a president more solely needed at this juncture and time than one, such as Barack Obama.

So go vote, because it is a right and a privilege (due to the many that died for us to have that right) and make your voices heard loudly. For God is watching us and the last days are steadily coming upon us...minute by minute-hour by hour and day by day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sarah Palin- Politics, Games and Our Next leader?

This election has taken a turn, that has tested all our abilities of common sense, intellect and comprehension. The Republicans (John McCain) have chosen a unknown elected official from their group by the name of Sarah Palin. No one had any idea of this choice and if one were to bet their mortgage on the choice of the Republicans-she would not have been that choice. But due to the Democratic Conventions successful showing in Colorado and Obama surge and celebrity, the Repubs came from way out in left field (no outer space) in the choice of Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Let me please openly state. I am not against any Republican or against the party. I am not one that is in a crazy frenzy of blind support of a particular party. Yes, I am a Democrat. Been since I registered right out of college. My choice of being a Democrat, was due to the compassion of the parties concern for minorities, underprivileged and racial concerns. The Repubs have a record of not showing that compassion through the years and have continued their policies, agenda and way. In choosing-I chose the Democratic Party. I like seeing African-Americans join and be involved in the Republican Party, to give more insight to the plight of African-Americans and minorities. Remember, Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. I don't like this division, for it confirms the statement..." a house divided, will not stand". We are "All" matter what party we are in or with.

Now, back to Sarah Palin. I am totally distressed and completely shaken by this appointment by the Republicans. Why her? Since her consideration, she has become a rock star, a media darling and every ones front page story. I am a true advocate of women's achievements and accomplishments. It has been long over due, that a woman has been asked to be in this position. Women have made remarkable strides and achievements and I am proud of all women, no matter what race, creed or color. But this choice, was not sound, good or respectable. Why not? Because they are playing on the minds and spirit of a country, that is in dispair, confused and hurt from the last two terms of George W. This is Sarah's time (fifteen minutes of fame) and she is loving it and playing the role better than Oscar award winning Meryl Streep. Take time to check her record and then you decide. Remember, Alaska is one of the 50 states, but is it creditable to her record to co-run the USA?

The Republicans have an agenda that they pushed and stand by. Experience has been mentioned in the fact that, her party says that she has "experience." This is the same party that said that Barack Obama doesn't have "experience." Sarah Palin could well be the president of the United States of America, if anything happens to John McCain if they are elected. Wow! something to think about huh? Then the major up roar of her daughter having a child out of wedlock. hmmmm, the Repubs spoke strongly against this type of behavior and now embracing it. Because she was a beauty queen, doesn't disqualify her for being the Vice-President. (can we say-Ronald Reagan-actor, Jesse Ventura-wrestler)

Now the conclusion, I am appalled because of the reaction of the American people (mostly the blue state folks, white-woman and Hillary supporters) are cheering and acting like this is the second-coming, of a person that has several issues that would cause them to be a liability, if she was in any other party besides the Repubs. They have spun a web and everyone is being caught up in it like zombies and brainwashed children. And the sad part is- Sarah Palin is swimming in it and loving it without hesitation. Obama and Biden have a difficult task in testing and hitting her about her record and abilities, because everyone will feel that they are being sexist against her. How can anyone pick a partner and not know them but by one or two times in conversation. It's all a game. A game of politics and it has gone to the lowest and deepest level at a time where our country is in trouble. Remember, the Repubs have been in control (with the Commander-in-Chief) for the last 8 years. I've talked enough, said all that I need to say...the only thing left to bring this all to a head is- "bring on Hillary" to confront this idiotic notion, that this woman is qualified to be the next Vice-President of the United States. Hillary is the key in this beginning battle before November and she is...a qualified leader.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

OBAMA...A Special Spirit Amongst Us.

After watching the Democratic Convention, held in Denver, Colorado this past week, I was compelled to write a brief comment of this very important election coming up this year. I have not been captivated by any election, except for the Democratic Convention back in 1984, when the Rev. Jesse Jackson was a candidate and the first (male) Black, highly considered. His speech was electrifying and powerful. So strong that I witnessed Anglo's, Italian's, Asians, Hispanics (to name few) that were Americans, shed tears of this powerful moment in history. The only thing that missed the mark, was his nomination. I felt, and it was to evident, that race, was the factor and he was too Pro-Black (minority) for America, at that time. Now, some 24 years later, another moment has risen to a much needed country, that needs unity and solidarity of all Americans. Even in politics, there comes one, that rises above and is shown to the masses, to lead and bring pros parity to our nation-that person is Barack Obama.

I have been very impressed with this Senator of Illinois and have grown each and every day, to trust and feel his message and reason for his campaign. Simplicity is a needed must today and the leaders (Republicans) have taken this country in a downward spiral toward depths not known since the Depression. There are many that doubt his abilities, even amongst the African-American nation. But there is a reason for his rise to this particular stage and time. Let me make some points:

The Choice For V.P.
With the finalization of the "Battle of Clinton Hill"; many felt that a dream ticket to defeat the Republican candidate John McCain would have been Hilary Clinton-Barack Obama or Obama-Clinton. No doubt, this ticket would have rocked the nation an unified all Americans, especially with the current state of the economy and disgruntled allies. But Hillary showed her political savvy and nasty side of trying to win "By Any Means Necessary!" After witnessing this debacle and manner, I was truly turned off and disappointed in this manner of tactics and attacks. The Clinton's are Congress smart and know how to play the game in Washington, but during this campaign for the nomination, something came out that showed her disabilities and nature, in obtaining the seat as the premier candidate for the Democratic presidency nomination. I am still shaken of the many comments (sound bites) of attacks against Obama from Hillary. Even at the convention, she STILL...spoke as to make sure that she is still a highly considered opponent against the Republicans and the one, that could lead the party forward. The speech was nice, strong and appropriate but still had that manner of arrogance. Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, the senior Senator of Delaware, was the logical and smart choice to be the running mate of soon-to-be President Barack Obama. Born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania for ten years prior to moving to Delaware, Biden trained as a lawyer and became a senator in 1973 at age 30, the fifth-youngest senator in U.S. history. He has served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, dealing with issues related to drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties. He is a long-time member and current chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and has worked on resolutions concerning the Yugoslav wars and Iraq War. Let the record speak for itself (enough said) of his duties, service and character in Washington, over the last two decades or more. Not saying that Hillary would have been a bad choice, but she showed what she was about in the campaign fight, that she had with Obama and I am sure that, there was some nerves were touched, in the attacks. I would have voted for Mrs. Clinton (before Obama) came on the scene and even after, but I was taken by his approach and straight-forward plan for the nation as a whole.

The Republicans:
For the last two terms (two scores) the Republican party has had the nation with a firm grip on all matters. They controlled the house, the control congress and had the leader that they saw fit, to lead this nation. What we got was a silver-spoon fed aristocrat, following in the foot steps of his father, leading a nation, without the care or knowledge of his abilities (and disabilities) and didn't really care. The economy is ruptured. Gas prices and oil companies have risen and making gross profits, while everyday Americans suffer. The outside world and allies, have grown discontent toward our nation. And the blunders that have occured, have been unbelievable...can we say Iraqi! I am amazed in conversation with friends that are Republicans, how they defend President George W. and his policies and how the nation is in torment at this very moment. With the Democratic Party normally having the support of the African-American vote, I was discontent of it's behavior toward African-Americans as taking for granted it's support and sacrifice. I am happy to see other African-Americans involved in the Republican party. I like to see every one have their choice in what organization or party they see fit to be involved in-for a better America. I am not on par or agreement of the many policies and plans, that they covenant and for that, I wish to see more African-Americans be more involved in giving them an in depth view of minorities and the less fortunate voice. It ills me to see an African-American (or anybody) stand up and praise the efforts of the Republican party of their gross negligence of "all" peoples needs, especially those that are in need. They too, are Americans, that go to war and fight for this nation and for our freedoms and rights. I am not saying that the Dems are right. For they too have ill me as well, but not as much as the elephants. This nation is a mess and there is no one to blame but George W. and the Republicans at this time and date.

The Race Factor:
There is no doubt that race is in the grasp of the thoughts of many in America. For the Blacks, it is a representative that has long been desired and visualize by the late great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But Dr. King believed in getting to the equality level stage for all Americans, not just blacks and have a level playing field or equality an rights. Being that it was the Civil Rights movement and Blacks all across the nation was victimized by matters of segregation and discrimination, they (us) were the poster child of this ill-fate time in our history. Can we say Jim Crow. Obama is Black. But he had to go through the same process, as all other politicians, to get to the place to even be considered or taken serious. He had to deliver and produce and get things done, within his jurisdiction and province. And he did! Even after his speech, several prominent African-Americans with Ph.D's and Master Degrees, were not fully pleased with the speech, due to Obama not being more forceful, in bringing up more historical Black issues or saying Dr. Kings name openly. I see what Obama is doing and feel what he has to do. I too agree somewhat, that he could have been mentioned openly prominent civil right disciples, that have given their lives for rights, equality and respect as Americans. But there is more to this campaign this time around where there is a need for true unity amongst "all" people. Like Obama said, "This is not about me, this is about -you!"

In Conclusion:
I feel blessed to be around to see this all materialize and come to pass. To see a African-American rise to this plateau and be seen as a serious contender for the most powerful position on this earth. I have supported the past presidents and some I didn't voted for but still considered them -my president, due to the process. All have been white and I cared not for that they were white or any color. I cared that they would take this country in the direction that was needed and be what we have grown to be-Ambassadors of the Globe. I am proud to be an American. I am proud in being an African-American, the same as an Italian-American, Polish-American, Anglo-American, etc. My being taught (by my mom and dad) were to love all people for their character, being and love for others. It didn't matter what color they were. Yes, I know of the discrimination and prejudice of the early days of slavery and after. I know of the ill attitudes of whites in the south and the nation-then and still now. But that doesn't allow me the right to act or respond in kind-with malice, anger and hate, even if it is justified from those past deeds. I am confident enough and smart enough to rise above that manner of behavior and appreciate the sacrifices that many made for me, to achieve any success or greatness, that I have obtained. Many Blacks gave their lives, for me to have a better life. But we must not forget, many whites (and other groups) also gave their that we would rise above the evils of discrimination and prejudice. We all pray to one matter how you slice it and dice it. There are no separate Heavens, we are all going to either of the same two places- Heaven ...or Hell...and there are no sign that says - "Whites this way- Blacks that way" when your time comes, to venture from this plane to the next.