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Local town honors pro athlete

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Updated: 6/22/2013 10:18 pm
MABEN, Miss. (WTVA) -- Saturday's parade honored Johnthan Banks, who is just a few months away from playing in the National Football League.

The former Mississippi State Bulldog says it's an honor to have his hometown recognize his accomplishments.
"I was kind of lost for words," adds Johnthan Banks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back. "I didn't really know if I wanted to do it because I am not a guy that likes to look at myself and just take all the attention."

People who have followed his career and are waiting to see him play in the NFL say it's humbling for a pro athlete to never forget where home is.

"It's nice to have someone from a small town come out and go to the NFL and come back out and socialize with everybody," adds Patricia Pilkington, Maben resident.

Knowing what challenges young athletes are faced with especially while growing up in a small town like Maben,
Banks says he has future plans to help give back to this town so that the next generation of athletes won't face as many challenges.

"I am going to establish a Boys and Girls Club here," adds Banks. "[I want to] just get out in the community and build a nice building here and help these kids alot of these kids don't have a lot."

He offers the following advice to kids who have the same aspirations of playing college football in the Southeastern Conference and dream to one day play in the NFL.

"Never quit," adds Banks. "Always believe in yourself and never let nobody tell you you can't do anything."

Johnthan Banks leaves for Florida in a few days.

His first NFL pre-season game is August 8 versus last season's Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens.

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