Alline Banks Sprouse

Category:
1970 - 1979 Inductees
Year Honored:
1974
University:
Nashville Business College

Biography

Every so often, an athlete comes along who truly dominates a sport. Alline Banks was to women’s basketball in the 1940s what Michael Jordan is to men’s basketball today. Banks’ career began at Buchanan High School in Murfreesboro in the late 1930s, where she was touted as the greatest girl basketball player yet developed in Tennessee. During her senior year, Alline set a state record averaging thirty-six points per game. At the tender age of sixteen, before actually graduating from high school, she enrolled in the Nashville Business College, where she earned All-America honorable mention her first year on the team. Her career only got better from there, as she was named All-America for an astonishing twelve seasons in a row. Counting her first season with NBC, Banks led seven national champion teams. Her legend was solidified the year she scored fifty-six points leading her team to victory in the AAU title game in New York City. A 1947 Sullivan Award runner-up, Banks is a member of the Georgia Hall of Fame, the Helm’s Basketball Hall of Fame and, of course, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. After retiring as a player, Banks went on to coach in the AAU, leading her Sinclair Refining Company team to the Class B championship. Although the name Alline Banks is not known today to school kids around the nation, those who know the history of women’s basketball will always remember her as one of the greatest of all time.

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