It’s more than just basketball, it’s a place for the community to gather and
mingle and enjoy themselves on a hot summer day.
Damien Banks believes the infectious nature of ‘fun’ can be a force for good, and he's proving it through the basketball league he founded in 2009. In the 1990s, Charlottesville, Virginia had a vibrant pick-up basketball culture. But as the years passed, Damien found that the town's basketball courts were increasingly empty. Around the same time the community began to divide, with tempers flaring over tough situations residents faced in their daily lives.
Damien, his wife Shawna, and a small group of friends decided they wanted to reverse that trend. If creative and inspirational fun came back, they believed some of the community's turmoil might subside; enter the Banks Collage basketball league.
“It had become almost a ghost town with very few events or activities going on,” Damien said. “We wanted to bring back the fun and create a positive environment where everybody could have a good time. It’s more than just basketball, it’s a place for the community to gather and mingle and enjoy themselves on a hot summer day.”
As the years passed, Banks Collage has evolved into a charitable force in the community. Each year they hold events to collect food for the hungry, school supplies for the disadvantaged, and cold-weather coats for those in need.
“Once you get the momentum going and the passion in the community starts to swell, it is just unbelievable,” said Damien. “Every year the charitable events around the basketball league are taken to another level.”
When not volunteering his time to coordinate the basketball league, Damien works at Savvy Rest, an organic mattress company in Charlottesville. Like Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Savvy Rest is a certified B Corp company, committed to using their business as a force for good.
Damien enjoys spending time with his wife Shawna and their three children, all of whom help with the basketball league throughout the summer. Shawna will be joining Damien on the cruise.