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Daryl Bell: Philly's Gene Banks helped create the Duke mystique



After dropping a 67-62 decision to Temple University at t on Saturday, University of Central Florida head basketball coach Johnny Dawkins, a former Philadelphia 76er, and assistant coach Vince Taylor needed something to lift their spirits. The mention of West Philadelphia High School legend Gene Banks during a conversation not only made them feel better, it brought smiles and great memories for both.

“That’s my guy,” were the first words Dawkins and Taylor said. And they meant it.

Banks, who became the first McDonald’s All-American to sign with Duke University in 1977, was the first African-American superstar prep athlete to go to the school noted for its gothic-like buildings, its stellar academic reputation and its championship basketball program.

“That’s my guy,” were the first words Dawkins and Taylor said. And they meant it.

Banks, who became the first McDonald’s All-American to sign with Duke University in 1977, was the first African-American superstar prep athlete to go to the school noted for its gothic-like buildings, its stellar academic reputation and its championship basketball program.

Nicknamed “Tinkerbell,” Banks’ signing projected a magical spell that has seen Duke sign 78 McDonald’s All-Americans.

To date, no college has signed more golden arch superstar prep players than the Tobacco Road school. The recent commitments from 6-10, 275-pound center Vernon Carey Jr. and 6-6, 215-pound small forward Wendell Moore Jr. give Duke 78 McDonald’s All-Americans in 42 years.

Carey, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s NSU University School and whose father, Vernon Carey, was an offensive line fixture for the Miami Dolphins, is ranked by some scouting services as the best player in the country.

To read the entire article click this link https://www.phillytrib.com/commentary/darylbell/daryl-bell-phillys-gene-banks-helped-create-the-duke-mystique/article_40d3594f-c531-585d-8eeb-8f18aaef73c9.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share



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