Cape Gazette
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Banks, Coursey and Howell: Delaware Afro American Hall of Fame

Trio Inducted April 19 into class of 2014
By Dave Frederick | Apr 28, 2014
Photo by: Cliffvon Howell George Banks, relaxed in shirt and tie, rocks the microphone at the Afro-American Hall of Fame banquet. The Cape grad spends lots of "spare time" bowling at Millsboro Lanes.

George Banks and Emory Howell, both Cape Henlopen graduates, and William L. Coursey, a 1967 graduate of William C. Jason High School, were inducted into the Delaware Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame class of 2014 April 19 at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover.

Banks is a bowler, Howell was a middle distance runner and Coursey was a three-sport athlete and 1967 Jason Athlete of the Year. All three men, who spoke to the room of 450 people, were described by others as not only stellar athletes in their day but lifelong nice people of high character who serve as role models to others.

Banks began his bowling career with coworkers as a way to relax after a long day’s work.  During his first year as a league competitor, he had such difficulty that he gave serious consideration to giving up the game.  He was encouraged to give some special attention to form and technique because he had potential.  As a result of dedication and continued competitive participation, George has been able to accomplish many of the goals he set for himself.  He currently ranks high among bowlers in the state of Delaware and on the Delmarva Peninsula.  His accomplishments include 27 games of 300, 17  11-in-a-row awards, 17 800-series sets which tallied a 267 average, eight league championships and nine league high average awards.  He’s been ranked in the top 20 bowlers in the state of Delaware five times and been a member of Delaware State Tournament championship teams three times. Banks is a member of the United States Bowling Congress and National Bowling Association.

"Squeak" Coursey was a starting fullback for the Jason Pioneers football team as a freshman.  He held the position for four years.  He was also the starting catcher for the baseball team for four years and a forward on the basketball team.  Beyond his high school career, William played baseball in the Delaware Semi-Pro League for Lewes and Slaughter Neck teams.  He was an all-star catcher for each team.  While serving in the United States Army in Baumholder, Germany, Coursey played semi-pro football for two years.

Born in Slaughter Neck, Howell was gifted with speed and endurance. As a member of the Cape Henlopen High School track team, he won the 880-yard run in the 1971 Meet of Champions that drew runners from Delaware, Pennsylvania, and South Jersey.  He was undefeated for two years in the half-mile run and ran anchor on the undefeated Cape mile relay team of 1971.  That same year, he was all-conference and all-state in cross country.  Emory ran anchor at the Penn Relays and all state and conference meets.  As a student at what was then Delaware State College, he earned All-American status in 1974 and 1975 in the 1,000-yard run at the Indoor NAIA meets.  He also broke the MEAC half-mile record at the South Carolina State Championships.  During the four years Emory ran for the Hornets, the team dominated distance and sprint medleys and the mile relay, with Emory always running anchor.  He was inducted into the Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1995.

William Coursey, nicknamed "Squeak," was a three- sport star in William C. Jason High School's class of 1967. (Photo by: Cliffvon Howell)
Emory Howell, right, accepts his Hall of Fame plaque from Dr. Alton Thompson, event master of ceremonies. (Photo by: Cliffvon Howell )
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