Gaston College, a two-year community college in Dallas, North Carolina, doesn’t often get mentioned in the Greensboro media market.

However, this is the exception. Gaston College is reinstituting its athletic programs and two well known, even famous, long-time residents of Greensboro are leading the effort.

This week Gaston College announced that Gene Banks has been hired as the athletic director and John Horshok as the director of athletic program development and sports marketing.

Banks is a former Duke University basketball power forward who took Duke to the NCAA finals in his freshman year.  In his NBA career he played for the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Bulls.  An injury cut Bank’s NBA career short and he finished out his professional career playing in Italy and Israel. 

Although Banks basketball career, which including being on the coaching staff for the Washington Wizards, has taken him far afield, he has called Greensboro home for decades.  Along with coaching in the NBA, Banks has coached the Smith High School boys basketball team and was the athletic director at Bennett College.

Horshok came to Greensboro in 1993 as a co-owner and general manager of what was then the Greensboro Hornets minor league baseball team.  He changed the name to the Greensboro Bats and also bought the Rhinoceros Club in downtown Greensboro, making him, at least in spirit, a relative of this publication.

Horshock brought a lot of innovations to the old World War Memorial Stadium where the Bats played, but is perhaps best known for building an outdoor sports bar, “The Grand Stand,” in the left field stands.  It was often said that many of the regulars at The Grand Stand were only marginally aware that a baseball game was being played right behind them.

Before coming to Greensboro, Horshock was the first executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and, because of that, many former Major Leaguers visited the stadium including Mickey Mantel, who left his signature on the wall of The Grand Stand.