George Banks

George Banks is entering the Hall of Fame for his unselfish service to Richmond’s tennis community. He has followed in the footsteps of the legendary John Watson and Sam Woods by dedicating his life to offering the gift of tennis to any child in Richmond who wants to learn the game. George was taught to play tennis by Franklin Crawford on the old Armstrong High School tennis courts where he developed the powerful game which earned him the #1 position on the Benedictine team. This gave him the opportunity to compete and win against some of Richmond’s top junior players. In college, George played #2 at Virginia Union for Dr. Watson.

After college, George joined the Richmond Police Department as a Resource Officer. In 1995, he was assigned to Huguenot where he volunteered to coach the boys’ tennis team. When he was reassigned to Armstrong High School in 2001, he again volunteered to coach tennis. During the 20 years he served in that position, he was named the Dominion District Coach of the Year 3 times, he led his team to a district title and he produced several players who went on to play at the college level.

During the summer months, George made use of the resources of the Police Athletic League to bring tennis to the kids in the Mosby, Creighton, Hillside and Blackwell areas. He also started providing weekly, no-cost tennis clinics ever at Battery Park. As the clinics grew, he recruited volunteers to assist with instruction. Out of this, he created the Metro Richmond Tennis Club, a non-profit organization, through which he has been able to provide tennis instruction on public courts throughout the city every summer. He has partnered with RTA, Westwood and U-Turn to secure indoor tennis instruction. Through his organization, George has been able to create teams to compete in the junior team tennis leagues, often at this own expense. More recently, his teams have participated in the Junior Suburban League programs. George has served as a coach, counselor, mentor and father figure to thousands of kids throughout the City of Richmond. For his decades-long, unselfish labor of love, teaching kids tennis throughout the city, this “pied piper” of Richmond tennis rightly deserves to be honored by the Hall of Fame.