PORTSMOUTH – Trevor Banks (SR, Fort Pierce, Fla.) has been named the 2013-14 Men's Basketball Champions of Character recipient for the Mid-South Conference. The honor makes the Shawnee State men's basketball program the winner of the last four MSC Champions of Character honorees. In addition to Banks, his former teammates Alex Bruns (2011-12), Tyler Morgan (2012-13) and Tyler Boyles (2013-14) have each won this award.
The Champions of Character nominees submitted by each school are voted on by the conference athletic directors. Each student-athlete that is nominated is required to submit a list of achievements (both on the court and on the classroom), a letter or recommendation, and a personal reflection essay on "How have you displayed the five core character values (Respect, Integrity, Responsibility, Servant Leadership, and Sportsmanship) and how will these values help you with your future ambitions in mind?"
In his personal reflection essay, Banks started by stating, "Foremost, I want to express how great of an honor it is to be considered for such an award. It is always nice to be recognized for your athletic achievements but to be recognized for my character and upholding the core values of the NAIA, I believe is far greater. The values of respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership, and sportsmanship are not just qualities I attempt to exercise but are essentially who I am."
During his four years at Shawnee State, Banks was a constant in the Bears' lineup as he played in 111 games, which ranks as the 11th-most in the history of the program. He also led the team in scoring this season, averaging 15.5 points per game en route to being named a second-team All-MSC honoree. He also finished ninth on the SSU career steals list with 121 takeaways in his playing career. He was a two-year starter and served as team captain during the 2013-14 season.
Of equal importance, Banks was also a prominent figure on the men's basketball team in the community. In addition to volunteering his time at Shawnee State as a game day management and intramural volunteer, he also helped with the Bear Run. Using his platform as a collegiate student-athlete, he assisted others over the summer as a camp counselor during Shawnee State's summer camps. Outside of the Shawnee State athletics realm, Banks also volunteered his time with Portsmouth High School in its athletic department. He has also worked with the Special Olympics.
Banks' personal development over his collegiate career is a fact easily observable to those who came in contact with him. According to his head coach and Shawnee State Athletic Direction, Jeff Hamilton, "During his four years in our program Trevor has grown and matured more than any player I've coached. His first two years in the program he hardly ever spoke and was very reserved. However, he has made a dramatic transition his junior and senior years, becoming an outstanding team leader!"
Hamilton continued by adding that, "As impressive as Trevor is on the court and in the locker room as a leader, he is even better away from basketball. Trevor has been a great leader during the summers working our basketball camp, and does an excellent job as a role model for the youngsters. He devotes a lot of time to being around young people and mentoring them to do great things in the classroom and on the field of competition!"
Banks closed his personal reflection essay by explaining, "I am far from perfect and I have not always been the best student or teammate but with guidance and self-assessment, I believe that I have become someone that I and those around me can be proud of. Being an NAIA college basketball player has not only made me a better athlete but has also made me into a better person. Regardless of my calling in life, I believe that qualities of respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership, and sportsmanship can only set me up for success."