With the final game of his high school career over, a 59-41 loss at East Ascension in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs, Denham Springs senior point guard Micah Banks took off his purple and gold uniform for the final time.
He believed that was it, the end of not only his career at Denham Springs High, but the conclusion of competitive run at basketball.
There was a glimmer of hope where three out-of-state schools had offered him a spot on their respective teams, but without the aid of scholarship Banks was resigned to that fact the game – which had brought him so much joy – was over.
“I was discouraged because I didn’t get a full scholarship or anything closer,” he said. “I still wanted to play at that point but didn’t have a set path of where I was going. I didn’t really feel like I was going to play after that.”
Banks was positioning himself for life after basketball; looking for a summer job with the intention of attending either Southern or Southeastern in the fall.
Then came one last basketball opportunity after he graduated. His father made him aware of a tryout camp at Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, Ala. – an overture Banks initially declined before deciding to make the six-hour trip.
“I changed my mind at the last second,” he said. “I’m glad that I did because I wouldn’t be in the place I’m in now.
Banks performed so well during the tryout among 30 other players that he earned a scholarship offer, committed to the school and subsequently signed with Chattahoochee Valley which went 18-12 last season.
“I had never heard of them before I went up there,” Banks said. “Before the workout I had maybe got in the gym once and hadn’t touched the ball in 2 ½ weeks. We did some ball-handling and shooting drills and played 5-on-5 pick-up.”
The two-hour workout was enough for Banks to catch the eye of the Chattahoochee Valley coaching staff. He was called into the coaches offices afterward, extended a scholarship offer and committed.
In an instant, Banks’ immediate future had changed and would include basketball after all.
“I did great in all of my drills,” Banks said. “They saw that I could pass the ball, play defense and score. They said they liked me and wanted me to just lead the team and play point guard. I told them I was interested.”
Banks evolved into the leading scorer for Denham Springs during his senior season, averaging 17 points, five rebounds and two assists. He was selected first team All-District 4-5A and All-Parish.
During the Yellow Jackets playoff game against EA, Banks led all scorers with 20 points.
“Since I’ve signed, I’ve been touching the ball every day,” said Banks, who took his official visit to the school July 11 for orientation. “It’s totally different. Before this, I was ready to get a job and get ready to go to school and be a regular student. If you would have told me three months ago, I was about to go Alabama and play basketball, I wouldn’t have believed you.”