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UNLV Runnin’ Rebels- Should Retire Freddie Banks 13

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UNLV Runnin' Rebels- Should Retire Freddie Banks 13
Photo Courtesy via www.sportingnews.com & UNLV

 

With another season of Runnin’ Rebel basketball just around the corner, many of the former greats from years past have been mentioned lately.

New UNLV men’s basketball head coach, TJ Otzelberger, and his team had their first practice of the season last week and they are excited about the upcoming campaign. Otzelberger is looking to change the recent culture, attitude, and atmosphere of the once storied program, on and off the court.

According to multiple UNLV basketball and UNLV athletic department sources, I have confirmed that coach Otzelberger is in the process of putting together standards for what would qualify a Runnin’ Rebel player’s jersey to get retired.

UNLV is refining its protocol and standards currently in place to retire jerseys.

There has been much debate on social media and around town as to who UNLV should honor next with a retired jersey.

Runnin’ Rebel fans make the case for past UNLV greats like Anderson Hunt, Wink Adams, Marcus Banks, and Freddie Banks.

One name that is at the forefront of the debate is Freddie Banks, who played for UNLV from 1983-1987. Banks was a key member of the 1987 team that made the Final Four before losing to Indiana 97-93.

Nicknamed “Fearless Freddie” for his ability to shoot clutch jump shots in the biggest moments, Banks finished his Rebel career in the top five all-time in career scoring at UNLV with 2,007 points.

Led by Banks, Jarvis Basnight, Armon Gilliam, Gerald Paddio, and Mark Wade, the 1986-87 Runnin’ Rebels won the Pacific Coast Athletic Association with a perfect record of 18–0 and finished the year with a record of 37-2.

UNLV Runnin' Rebels- Should Retire Freddie Banks 13
Photo courtesy of unlvrebels.com

His most memorable moment came in the 1987 Final Four game against the Hoosiers when Banks scored 38 points while making a record 10 three-pointers.

Despite losing that game, his effort is highly praised and still stands as a Final Four record for three-pointers made in a game.

Banks also holds the school record for most three-pointers made in a season with 152 and is second on the UNLV All-Time list for career three-pointers made with 229.

UNLV Runnin' Rebels- Should Retire Freddie Banks 13
Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report

What makes the case for Banks even more special is that he is also originally from Las Vegas. He is known as one of the best high school basketball players to ever come out of the city.

Starring at Valley High School, Banks led the Vikings to three state championships and had an overall record of 90-8, while earning himself the honor of being a McDonald’s All-American.

When it came time to choose a college, Banks chose to stay home and play for Hall of Fame coach Jerry Tarkanian and his Runnin’ Rebels.

In 2005, Banks was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame. Five years later, he was inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.

Banks has been a fan favorite to get his jersey retired for years and the talk of it hit a spike again recently when he was seen working and talking with the UNLV men’s basketball coaching staff.

UNLV Runnin' Rebels- Should Retire Freddie Banks 13
Photo courtesy of UNLV Athletics

He still lives in the Las Vegas area, currently serving as a high school coach at Canyon Springs High School.

Freddie Banks is a local legend who had some of his biggest moments in a Runnin’ Rebels uniform over 30 years ago. There’s only one achievement left which is to fully recognize Freddie Banks Runnin’ Rebel’s career by retiring his jersey and allowing him the honor of having his #13 hanging in the rafters of the Thomas and Mack Center with the rest of the Runnin’ Rebel greats.

 

 

Isaiah Torres

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