NC State Offers Banks

Atlanta (GA) Mount Vernon Presbyterian center James Banks isn't ranked among the nation's best 2016 prospects, but that could be about to change.

Atlanta (GA) Mount Vernon Presbyterian center James Banks isn't ranked among the nation's best 2016 prospects, but that could be about to change.

Currently rated a two-star recruit by, Banks holds a lengthy list of offers that is expanding almost daily. Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Tulsa, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Miami, South Carolina, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Xavier, Memphis, Clemson, Wake Forest, Auburn, Baylor, Missouri, Ole Miss, Georgetown, Purdue, NC State, and Syracuse are just some of the schools that have extended offers.

"It's a blessing," said Banks. "I've worked hard... still am. It's great that these coaches see my potential and are recruiting me... offering scholarships."

Banks had a terrific junior season, averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds while playing in the post. He's suiting up for the Atlanta Celtics on the AAU circuit where he believes he'll continue to showcase his ability.

"I consider myself a skilled big man," he said. "I play the post, and I'm getting stronger. I've been in there since I started playing, but I'm also comfortable at the three-point line and with the 15-foot jumper. I'm not afraid to take those shots, but I specialize in being a big man first."

He has already visited programs like Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Tennessee, and a few years back he toured the Big Four schools in North Carolina with one of his teams.

One of those schools, NC State, recently offered Banks a scholarship.

"Growing up I didn't play basketball," said Banks. "I started late so I didn't have a favorite team, but when you inquire about schools, some that come up are schools like NC State, Duke, North Carolina, and Wake Forest... schools in that state.

"Getting an offer from a school like that, in that state, that conference... it's definitely a blessing."

Because the visit was brief, Banks didn't get to see a lot of NC State, and he is still learning about the Wolfpack.

"I'm still learning about them," he said. "I don't know too much, other than the coaches. We've been trying to get on a personal level, and I still need to meet with them. They are one of the new schools on me, and when I visited there it was a quick, group visit. I'll learn more about them though."

A talent on the court, Banks is also strong in the classroom, where he carries a 3.5 GPA. It's obvious that academics will play a role in his eventual decision.

"Playing basketball will get me to the next level, and that's college," he said. "I know that if I'm lucky I can make money playing basketball until I'm almost 40. I'll still have another 40 or 50 years of life to live.

"So academics are really important because I want something else to do. I want to get a degree that focuses on something I'm passionate about, but I'm not sure on a major right now."

It's obvious that Banks is in no hurry to make a decision, and he will consider several factors when the time comes to choose.

"I'm open to anybody," he stated. "I don't have a preference of conference or distance. A lot of schools are coming in, and I'm just looking for the best place.

"The biggest factors... I want a place where I can develop into a better basketball player. I don't want to go where I won't see the floor. I want to go where I'll have a chance to play and where I'll also develop and win games. They also need to have a strong academic program."

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