Banks gets opportunity to shine in Summer League
Interview: Last year's BSL leading scorer Adrian Banks will play for Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA's Summer League.
Adrian Banks for Barak Netanya Photo: Asaf Kliger
It’s a whole different game when Adrian Banks steps on the court in this year’s
NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Last year’s BSL’s leading scorer is in
the process of adjusting to a new style of play, in competing with NBA players.
While Adrian is known in Europe for his ability to score points, he understands
that in Vegas he is more of a role player, and needs to contribute in different
ways in order to impress coaches.
Banks told The Jerusalem Post that, “I
think for me the challenge is to showcase other skills I have, not scoring, but
defense, hustle, supporting teammates, and just showing people that I can be a
professional, both on and off the court.”
Banks played college basketball
at Arkansas State, and then took his game to Belgium and most recently Israel,
where he starred for Barak Netanya.
Banks acknowledged that growing up in
Memphis, and being a well-known scorer in Europe helped him gain recognition from
the Grizzlies organization.
“Being the leading scorer this past year had
a lot to do with it as well, plus I’m from Memphis so I have always been
familiar with the Grizzlies and their summer workouts.”
In the Summer
League, teams generally expand their rosters to get a chance to look at more
young athletes; however, they usually limit the number of minutes that each
Banks has been lucky to play in both games so far, but
has only managed to tally four points, one rebound and one assist in about
seventeen minutes of play.
Though his numbers are not where he would
like, Banks is still optimistic about his opportunity to play.
time is very slim, leaving a small window to be able to perfor.
getting the chance to play against the big names guys is pretty cool, it’s a
test every time you step on the court.”
When asked about his thoughts of
taking his career to America, Banks noted, “I’m not the kind of guy whose only
determination is to join the NBA, I know my career will most likely be
established in Europe and I’m just using the summer league to show my talents on
a higher level.
“However, who knows what can happen when you have this
Banks also reflected on his time spent in Israel, and has a lot
of respect of the Netanya organization.
“Netanya gave me my chance to
show Europe that I can play at a high level and be consistent over the two years
that I spent with them. I’ve seen the teams’ popularity and fan base grow in big
numbers, and they have a special way of making you feel at home.”
Pargo, another former BSL player, is also on the Grizzlies roster.
Banks have faced off in the past, most notably in the 2010 Israeli All-Star
They also faced off in a Israeli slamdunk competition, where Adrian
While Banks’s top priority is basketball, he also
lends a helping hand to local charities.
In Israel, Banks was a strong
supporter and volunteer at Netanya’s ‘Hoops for Kids’ organization.
home in Memphis, Banks organizes sports clinics for local children at his
While he knows that he has big dreams, Banks remains grounded and
realistic about his chances.
“I don’t know where my career is going next
season, but the important thing is to focus on showing NBA teams all my skills
that they cannot read about on the internet.”