Hundreds Say Goodbye to Sports Writer Lacy Banks

Sports greats, family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of Lacy J. Banks, the first African-American sports writer for the Sun-Times

By Charlie Wojciechowski and Glenn Marshall
|  Thursday, Mar 29, 2012  |  Updated 9:45 PM CDT
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Sports greats joined family, friends and religious leaders Thursday morning to honor one of Chicago's most iconic sports writers. A

Sports greats joined family, friends and religious leaders Thursday morning to honor one of Chicago's most iconic sports writers. A "Celebration of Life and Thanksgiving" service dedicated to Lacy J. Banks was held at Liberty Missionary Baptist Church on the 4800 block of South King Drive in Chicago.

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Sports greats joined family, friends and religious leaders Thursday morning to honor one of Chicago's most iconic sports writers.

A "Celebration of Life and Thanksgiving" service dedicated to Lacy J. Banks was held at Liberty Missionary Baptist Church on the 4800 block of South King Drive in Chicago. The service began at 10 a.m. following Wednesday night's visitation service in Country Club Hills.

Bulls great Bob "Butterbean" Love called Banks his great protector.

"When I couldn't talk, Lacy made me talk," recalled Love, who conquered a speech impediment. "I would see it in the paper, 'Bob Love said this ... Bob Love said that.' "

Banks covered sports for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1972. Not only was he the paper's first full-time African-American sports writer, but he also held the record of the longest-serving sportswriter on the Sun-Times' staff.

The writer was able to cover seven world championships involving Chicago teams along with juggling preaching and counseling at local churches.

The Chicago Bulls will honor Lacy J. Banks by holding a moment of silence for the sports writer Saturday before their game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Hazel Crest Mayor Robert Donaldson on Thursday called for Banks to be inducted into the NBA hall of fame.

Banks died of heart disease at the age of 68. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, three daughters and a handful of grandchildren.

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