Booker T’s Finest

This is Steven Whitley aka Diesel. 


Where does the nickname come from?


I never asked him, but I’ve watched the power that this young man possesses as he dribbles up and down the court.  


The name fits. 


Many of you know him from Norfolk State University,


Booker T. Washington High School,


Or even Norview Middle. 


One thing is for certain.  


He’s from Norfolk and it shows. 


Whitley puts in the work. 


He’s gritty on defense and will make you pay from all three levels on offense.


I heard him say it this evening, 


“Get in my way and it’s curtains for them boys.”


I met Whitley in 2019 at Boo Williams Sports Complex during an AAU Combine. 


I would have never guessed from that day I would form a bond with someone.


This bond has connected me to the 757 sports community in ways I couldn’t imagine. 


From courtside at Norfolk State Games, to private workouts. 


I’ve seen the work put in that translates to the court.  


This man loves the game of basketball. 


He finished one workout earlier and came straight to Booker T. to put in more work. 


Don’t ever question the work ethic, because it’s there. 


It’s probably why they call him Diesel. 


Diesel engines go for hundreds of thousands of miles. 


Like the engine, Whitley never stops working. 


You can see it in the photos below. 


And if you’ve never met him before I’d like to introduce you to number 34. 


Norfolk’s Very Own:


Steven Whitley




I hope you enjoy the photos. 

Got Flix?

-GB


Track Stars


I’ve never taken pictures at a track meet.  

You can’t take pictures at a track meet if you’ve never been to one before, right?

So of course there were a lot of firsts. 

And when presented with new opportunities.

I like to  try something new.

I was blessed with the opportunity to work with Conference Carolinas for their Indoor Track Championship. 

They are such a great team to work with and I met a lot of great people.

The day was a blur. 

But in a good way.

Pole Vaulting, Hammer Throws, Long Jumps, High Jumps, Sprints, Relays, and Long Distance Runs. 

I felt like my head was on a swivel. 

And I liked it. 

Enough about me. 

I have many pictures to share with you all so let’s get to it. 

I hope you enjoy!


If you see yourself in any of these pictures just send me a email or dm me on Instagram and I’ll be sure to share. 


You guys/girls are the best!  Congrats to all of the winners at the championship. 


Hopefully if the championship is back in Virginia Beach next year I’ll see you guys then!


Gelani Banks

Got Flix?


Would You Work This Hard?

This is Zhou (pronounced Joe)

He  is 5’9” Point Guard.

He loves the game of basketball and it shows in his work.

Imagine coming to a foreign land from China in your Highschool years.  

All to realize your dreams.

Do you have what it takes?

He does.

After attending Huntington Prep and Virginia Beach Sports Academy, Zhou wants to continue his dreams and play collegiate basketball. 

He reached out to me to record a few videos to showcase his skill especially since visits and basketball games are very scarce during a pandemic.

I hope you enjoy this short mix. 

If you are a coach, extended raw highlights available upon request. 

Got Flix?

Gelani Banks


It’s A Boy!

Yes I know the title is anticlimactic, 

but the pictures reveal the gender just as quickly as the title. 

The Gender isn’t the most important thing here.

What’s cool about this gender reveal was that I had the honor of creating a video and making pictures for my best friend of close to 20 years. 

Blayre and Andrew. 

Thank you for inviting me to capture this special moment. 

Baby Anderson is lucky to have you two as parents. 

I know this because you show so much love to my son.

Anderson will grow up in Minnesota so make sure he’s good at Hockey. 

“Dontcha Know”?

Blayre, I’m so glad I told you to stop crying over that cute boy you’d see at school if you weren’t going to talk to him. 

I’m glad you did talk to him.

 You guys are perfect for each other and this next journey is going to be awesome. 

Love all three of you, 

Gelani Banks


Don’t Cancel the Year that Woke You Up!


The best year ever?

At least until next year. 

 And not because it was fun. 

 Not because I didn’t cry more than any other year. 

 I lost an aunt that was like a 2nd mother two weeks after her birthday. 

 She passed away in her sleep suddenly. 

 I lost a friend that was like a brother. 

He stood next to me on my wedding day and lost his battle with Sickle Cell a week before Christmas. 

 We almost got through the year without another loss, but it didn’t happen. 

 2020 was the best year ever because despite all the pain, we are still blessed. 

 We are blessed because during the year 2020 with social distancing and minimal travel my values were reinforced. 

 I was reminded of what mattered.

I hope you enjoy some personal pictures from my most important moments in 2020.

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In January, one of my closest friends came from Austin to spend time with my family. 

 We spent New Year’s Eve together and talked about some of our goals and reflected a bit on the year that passed. 

Gyasi with his Godfather during the New Year


shortly after he left, we spent a warm weekend in Miami and that can never be wrong.  

Especially when you include a family excursion into Wynnwood.

Some place with Ice Cream in Wynnwood lol

My Wife Akeylah and My Son Gyasi at Wynnwood Walls

 We went to Miami for my cousin’s wedding. 

Good thing they planned it for January. 

 It was lots of fun and we danced the night away under the stars at the Ancient Spanish Monastery.  

Eric walking down the aisle

My little cousin Payton

The Bridge and Groom

Aunt Joan at the Wedding

Logan my little cousin

My Cousin Courtney

My beautiful wife

BRUUUUCE!!!!

My Brother Kalen

My Cousin Desiree

Akeylah

Two of my close friends (by way of Akeylah) got engaged in January before Covid-19 was a threat to all of us. 

How great it was to gather in a small space with nothing to worry about. 

Michelle and Wale.

Michelle and her mother

Michelle and friends

Akinwale and Michelle get enganged!!!!!

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I know you guys love seeing my son whenever I do show him and in 2020 he turned One! 

We decided to have a small birthday party outside with family and I remember being so nervous. 

 In hindsight, I’m extremely grateful that we did have a birthday party for him. 

My Aunt who I lost this year was able to come. 

 And having her included in these pictures puts a smile on my face. 

Gyasi first Birthday

AJ

Kalen

Isaiah

Gyasi is a wild one

Alligator tears

CiCi (Sister in Law)

AJ

Mother in Law

Gyasi

Dad

Family Photo

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After all of the early joy that we experienced. 


We did have some rough times. 

Unfortunately, the summer was full of negative emotions in addition to the anxiety that the pandemic brought. 

 So many tears were shed. 

 There were many sleepless nights. 

 Anger. 

 Fear. 

Grief. 

Here are few pictures from the summer that I’ll never forget.


BLM

Do Justice

Portsmouth Confederate Monument

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Garyvee shared something with the world a few months ago. 

 He said, “Don’t Cancel the Year that Woke You Up”! 

When I first read the quote, I was speechless. 

 In a year full of sadness, it was at that moment that I realized I still needed to be grateful. 

 Personally, 2015 was the hardest year of my life. 

I was depressed and alone in a place I didn’t want to be. 

 It was the hardest year until 2020. 

 But looking back, I’m grateful for 2015 because without that year I would not be able to have handled this year. 

 With so much loss there is still much to celebrate. 

 Time spent with family, new opportunities, and even time to sit still and reevaluate what is important. 

This post is dedicated to the ones we all lost this year. 

 I lost Aunt Joan and Kendrick. 

 I won’t forget to live a full life in their memory. 

 They sowed so much into me. 

 I’m the fruits of their labor. 

 So to 2020, you were a tough one, but thank you for the tears and the laughs. 

 The missed moments and memories we made.  

I hate you and love you at the same time because you made me a better person. 

 Here is to the Year that Woke us all up. 

 I pray we continue to move forward. 

 Because without movement there is no change. 

Uncle Steve, Jade, Ava, “Mama”

Jade and Ava

Kalen, Diallo, Mom, Dad, Akeylah, Me

My adopted Grandparents.

Ma Marjorie

Kalen, Cici, Diallo, Ola, Kendrick, Akeylah, Gelani

Eddie, Gyasi, Me

Pop

Diallo and my Dad hugging

Ma Marjorie talking trash probably

My God Sister, Ciera

Jade and Ava.  Sisters Class of 2020 from Middle and Highschool

Ci, MOL, Akeylah

The Professor - Kenneth Hines

Mom

Cousin Love

CiCi Birthday

Diallo

Cousin Carol

Ciera Graduated

Ci, MOL, Akeylah, Kendrick

Ma Marjorie and Pop

Dad, Ciera, Aunt Leci

Dad 53rd Bday

Kalen, Diallo, Mom, Ciera, Dad, Me

Gyasi and Diallo

Fathers Day

Family Christmas Portrait

Gyasi

Gyasi on Christmas

My Great Aunt Joan and the First time she met Gyasi.

Ci, MOL, Akeylah, Me

Mom Hugging Diallo

Gyasi and Charis

Gyasi on Christmas

Brothers for Life

Mom and Dad

Gyasi hype for his presents

Family Christmas


RIP Kendrick

RIP Aunt Joan

P.S.

Also, this Gender Reveal Video will put a smile on your face =) Happy New Year

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