Former NBA star purchased tickets for 30 area youth

BOISE, Idaho, March 26, 2012 Idaho Stampede point guard Marcus Banks, and his Marcus Banks Foundation, bought tickets for 30 area disadvantaged youth to come watch a Stampede home game - and those kids came out in force on Friday, March 23.

But for Banks, it wasn't just one great night for area youth to remember - it's been a process since he started his professional career after he was drafted 13th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft out of UNLV. Playing for eight seasons in the NBA did not change Marcus and his need to help kids, wherever he has been - Banks has played all over North America, including Toronto, Canada, in his time, moving from Boston to Minnesota, Phoenix, Miami, Toronto, New Orleans and, now, Boise.

But since 2011, there has been an even stronger mission from Banks - starting the Marcus Banks Foundation.

The MB Foundation was established in 2011 and the Foundation's mission statement says it best, "Helping Hands Helping Communities."

Banks intends to target underprivileged and less-fortunate children and families, providing them with support and opportunities that would not be available to them otherwise - hence, why Banks decided to donate some of his own time and money towards area youth, including multiple branches of the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs located in the Treasure Valley. Banks also helps support the Idaho Youth Ranch and Idaho Youth Ranch Hays Shelter.

In past years, Banks has conducted toy drives, Thanksgiving dinners to families in need, and through his self-sponsored AAU program, made it possible for dozens of kids to attend college.

Banks has been appreciative and humbled by the opportunity the NBA and NBA Cares community has allowed for him.

Said the community all-star: "This was just another small step in trying to make a difference and we look forward to making a difference in the lives of others from here on out."