JACOB Banks will play college baseball 700 miles away from home, and the distance is part of the appeal for him.
The Jackson County second baseman wanted to get away to continue his athletic career and education, and will do so at Lancaster Bible College in Pennsylvania. Banks signed with the Chargers this past week and explained how the opportunity came about.
“They sent me an email one day, and I went to a showcase where they took a video of me,” Banks said. “They emailed me about the video. I went up there and visited and fell in love with it.”
Banks considered schools in Virginia as well as Maryville College (Tenn.), where his brother, Jalen, plays. But he ultimately decided on the small, private Christian school in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Banks said he felt at home when visiting the 1,600-person campus.
“It’s a real small campus, but everybody is really nice,” Banks said. “I just fell in love with the place.”
Jackson County coach Tommy Fountain said Banks was a player “who has always wanted to go away from home” and now has a chance to be successful at Lancaster.
“I think he’ll do a great job for them,” he said. “He swings the stick well. He can play a couple of infield spots for them. He’s a guy who has been in our program from day one, and I’m excited that he gets the opportunity to go on and play at the next level.”
Fountain added that it will be sad no longer having a Banks in the program. Jalen preceded Jacob, playing for Fountain from 2009-2012. Meanwhile, Jacob played for Fountain’s program from middle school through high school.
“There’s been a Banks in our program since day one when I was here,” Fountain said. “But we’re going to miss them. I’m not sure what it’s going to be like not having a Banks to write down in the lineup.”
Banks, who will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job at second base, is looking forward to moving on to the next level — and to a new part of the country.
“I wanted my life to be bigger than these county lines,” Banks said. “And I guess it turned out that it would be bigger than the state borders.”