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A moment of silence at Bulls game

Updated: April 25, 2012 8:10AM

The Bulls will honor the memory of Sun-Times sportswriter Lacy J. Banks with a moment of silence before the game Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors.

Banks, who covered the Bulls and the NBA during his 40-year career at the Sun-Times, died Wednesday of heart disease at 68. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Joyce, and their daughters, Nicole Chapman, Noelle Banks and Natasha Banks, as well as five grandchildren.

The Bulls have arranged for his family to attend the game in a private box at the United Center.

Banks, the newspaper’s first full-time African-American sportswriter, was also an ordained Baptist minister.

He could not only conduct a locker-room grilling of Bulls superstar Michael Jordan, but he conducted a halftime wedding ceremony for former Bull Bob Love at the United Center.

He covered sports for the Sun-Times since 1972. He also preached at more than 100 Chicago-area churches and answered his phone with “God bless you.”

Banks blogged about his health issues, estimating at one point that he had been examined and treated by 97 doctors at eight hospitals in three states.

Funeral services have been scheduled for Banks. The public viewing will be from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday at Leak & Sons Funeral Home, 18400 S. Pulaski Road in Country Club Hills. Funeral services, a ‘‘Celebration of Life and Thanksgiving,’’ will be held Thursday at Liberty Missionary Baptist Church, 4849-59 S. King Drive in Chicago. The 10 a.m. service will be preceded by a family hour at 9 a.m.

Staff reports

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