Brian Banks Looking Towards the Future

1 Jun

Here’s a story that is probably going to make you cry. About 10 years ago there was this 16 year old high school kid named Brian Banks. He went to Long Beach Poly High School in Long Beach, California and had been offered a full scholarship to play football at USC. With a few more years of high school left and then a few years in college, this kid was pretty much NFL-bound. However, in the Summer of 2002, his life plans changed.

Brian Banks was accused of rape by a high school classmate, Wanetta Gibson for what she said occurred in the high school’s stairwell. Despite the lack of evidence in the case, Banks’ attorney felt that there was no way he would emerge non-guilty and even though he denied the rape, he finally plead guilty. After his plea, Banks got six years in prison.

When Banks finally got out of jail he still had to wear a GPS tracking ankle bracelet and registered as a sex offender (because of his “rape history”). It was difficult for him to get a job but he was just happy to be out of jail.

Here was this guy who was living his life as a convicted rapist and yet there was never any proof that he actually committed rape. But Banks continued to try and make a life for himself in any way that he could.

Then one day last year everything changed.  Banks received a Facebook friend request from Wanetta Gibson, the woman who accused him all those years ago. She had sent him a message saying she wanted to put this all behind them. Banks agreed to meet Gibson but he was smart about it. And thank goodness he was. When Banks met with Gibson, he did so in the office of a private investigator and secretly videotaped everything that she said. Gibson clearly stated on the tape, “No, he did not rape me.” The reasons why Gibson chose to meet with Banks in the first place are a little off but the point is that Banks finally had the evidence he needed to prove his innocence. The turn of events over this past year were pretty weird but also lucky.

Over the last year, Banks worked together with the California Innocence Project in San Diego to try and get his rape conviction flipped.

On Thursday, May 24, 2012, about 10 years after he was convicted, Banks got his future back.

My heart aches for Brian Banks for so many reasons and I’m sure yours does too. But what is so amazing and inspiring about this story is that Banks could easily sit here and try and make you feel bad for him.  But he is not sitting here, complaining, and dwelling on the past. He is still set on pursuing his dreams and not letting the last 10 years get in the way.

For Banks, things are already starting to look up. The last few days have been full of good news for Banks. This week he received calls to work out for the Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Washington Redskins. The best part of it all, Banks actually has a shot at making an NFL roster. He is listed at 6-ft-2 and 245 lbs.

As the world can see, the Brian Banks story is not yet done being written. The only way he can go is up now. Even if he doesn’t make the NFL, Banks already has numerous job offers and he will no doubt be successful regardless. He has already proven that he can make it through tough times and a great deal of adversity.

So, good luck Brian Banks, I know you will be successful in whatever you pursue but you better believe that if you make an NFL roster, I will be cheering for you every step of the way.


For more on the Brian Banks story  visit this website:

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