Football player gets second chance with Las Vegas Locomotives
Press conference about signing of Brian Banks to Las Vegas LocomotivesPhoto: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A former high school football standout who was recently exonerated in a California rape case has been drafted by the United Football League's Las Vegas Locomotives.
26-year-old Brian Banks says he is anxious to get back on the field.
Banks was a 16-year-old linebacker for Long Beach Poly High School and had been offered a football scholarship to the University of Southern California.
However, his dreams were derailed when 15-year-old Wanetta Gibson claimed that Banks had raped her.
Banks' attorney encouraged Banks to take a plea deal because she did not think a jury would believe him.
Banks served more than five years in prison and five years on parole after he was convicted a decade ago on rape and kidnapping charges.
A judge overturned Banks' conviction after his accuser recanted her story after she sent Banks a friend request on Facebook.
Banks participated in the Seattle Seahawks minicamp in June. However, he did not make the team. He also had tryouts with two other teams.
Locomotives coach Jim Fassel says the team is pleased to give Banks an opportunity in football that was denied to him years ago.
Banks will play linebacker for the Locos during Wednesday's season opener. The game, against the Virginia Destroyers, begins at 6 p.m. at Sam Boyd Stadium. For more information, visit the team's website.