Mingo Central all-state guard Austin Banks is heading to Alderson-Broaddus to further his education and to play basketball.
The 5-10 guard was a third team Class AA All-State player this past season for coach Brad Napier’s squad. He was also a first team Daily News All-State player the past two seasons.
Banks averaged 17 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals a game for the Miners.
Banks is also an honor roll student carrying a 4.0 GPA. He also played soccer and runs track at Mingo Central.
“This is a good fit for Austin,” Napier said. “They really liked him when he went up for his visit. They were impressed with how he did going up against some of their college players.”
“They said he needs to hit the weight room and get stronger,” Napier added. “They really like his basketball IQ.”
Napier told the student boy in attendance that “It was a pleasure to coach Austin. He is a great kid and a great student. His attitude and work ethic are great and that is rare in coaching today.”
“I’ve been playing basketball all my life,” Banks said. “Now I get to play four more years and I look forward to it. The most important thing is that I will get my education.”
Banks said he made his decision after a visit to A-B and like the low student-to-teacher ratio.
Former Williamson High School assistant coach Stan Elkins was also in attendance at the ceremony. He told those in attendance that Banks has “character.” He also told the student present in the auditorium that they should strive to get a scholarship and continue their education.
For 140 years, Alderson-Broaddus College has been providing a quality education for its students. Overlooking the picturesque Tygart River Valley in Philippi, West Virginia, the school is a faith-based learning community. Deeply rooted in the liberal arts, Alderson-Broaddus College is a health-related and professional educational institution. Alderson-Broaddus College is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA, and the West Virginia Baptist Convention.
Banks plans to major in Physical Therapy.
The Battlers are coached by Greg Zimmerman, who enters his 12th season as head men’s basketball coach at the college. Over the past 11 seasons, Zimmerman has led the Battlers to a 260-84 overall record (.756).
“He is one of the best coaches in Division II basketball,” Napier said of Zimmerman. “He had another one of my players up there – Zack Green, from Logan and also Jeff Miller.”
While at A-B, he has led the basketball program to two regular season WVIAC conference championships (2006, 2007), four WVIAC tournament championships (2002-04, 2008), and nine consecutive NCAA Division II National Tournament appearances, including a pair of trips to the Sweet Sixteen (2004, 2006).
A-B will now play in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.