CANMORE – “Alberta dribbles the ball up court with five seconds left on the clock – Corey Banks from way downtown … Bang! Bang! What a shot from Banks!”
Just like iconic NBA sharpshooter Steph Curry, rising Canmore hoops star Banks is dreaming of being a bucket when he suits for Alberta at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games in August.
From developing his game at OLS’ gym to hooping with the best on the national stage, the six-foot-one guard has based his entire basketball career around a jump shot, and is beaming with confidence with each snap of the wrist.
“Basically, if I’m open, I’m taking the shot,” said Banks, 18. “Even if the guy’s [in front of me] hands are down, I’m taking it. I’ve practiced that thousands of times. I think I can do a bit of everything, but I think shooting would be more of my stronger aspect.”
Banks, who also played club ball for Genesis in Calgary, recently made the cut to Alberta’s 12-man U18 roster that heads to Ontario from Aug. 6-21.
“It was just such a huge accomplishment for me ‘cause the coaches told you at the tryouts and it was kind of like that ‘am I going to get cut or am I make going to it’ type of feeling,” said Banks. “It was that relief, like, I’ve done it, all that hard work, like that. Now I’m working even harder to get a better spot on that line up and just make a bigger impact on the actual team when we go to the Summer Games.”
Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash is the most successful basketball alum of the Canada Summer Games.
Like Nash, Banks plays the guard positions – quarterbacking the offence at point or looking to cash-in a bucket as a shooter.
The major competition also allows him to showcase his game in front of coaches and scouts.
“I’d love to play post-secondary ball and that’s something big with this provincial team is every practice we go to, there will be coaches … for university teams, so it’s just great exposure,” said Banks. “My goal is to just keep playing. I love it and I’m going to keep going as far as I can.”
A big fan of Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, Banks was surprised for his 18th birthday a few weeks ago with a flight to San Francisco and game tickets to see the western conference’s powerhouse team.
In the game against the NBA’s top team, the Phoenix Suns, Warrior Jordan Poole dropped a game high 38 points. The volume scoring is something the Canmore shooter wants to emulate in crunch time when it matters.
“I’ve never been to something this big,” said Banks. “It’ll probably just be travelling with the team and facing the best kids in Canada. I think that would be pretty neat and [I’m] pretty stoked for that.”