Friends send well-wishes as Bryan Hanks turns 50
As Bryan Hanks turned 50 on Saturday, numerous friends and colleagues wanted to provide well-wishes and positive memories about a Lenoir County legend.
Neuse News correspondent Graham Hill said Hanks had confidence in him from the first day they met.
“I remember going to the Freedom Classic (at Grainger Stadium) and asked if I could go behind the scenes to see how he did work calling the games,” Hill said. “He let me get on the mic in the seventh inning and I was blown away because he gave me the opportunity even though it was my first time meeting him. Now, working with him through Neuse News, he’s been more of a role model to me. He’s taken me under his wing and I’m truly grateful for everything that’s happened.”
Arendell Parrott athletic director Matt Beaman said Hanks has been a strong advocate in the area.
“Bryan Hanks is great for the county,” Beaman said. “He brings excitement and you can tell how much he loves Lenoir County through his impact, coverage and just being around the area.”
WCTI-TV News and Sports Anchor Brian North said Hanks’ impact has transcended more than just covering stories.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone as invested in a county they weren’t from than Bryan,” North said. “He may have come out here for a job, but he has really immersed himself into Lenoir County, which is a testament to his heart and the person that he is. To see him reach the half-century mark and impact so many lives over the past 15 years is pretty amazing and he’s done everything from sports, news, being a public information officer and editing. He’s a great guy who has done so much for the area.”
South Lenoir coach Jeremy Joyner said he has appreciated Hanks’ coverage throughout the years.
“He has been a true servant of the community, going above and beyond for Kinston and Lenoir County,” Joyner said. “He has a passion for high school athletics and it shows the type of character Bryan has.”
Lenoir County isn’t the only area to benefit from Hanks. Jones County Manager Franky Howard said Hanks was an asset as the public information officer for the area during Hurricane Florence.
“Bryan is definitely a partner of ours in Jones County and we couldn’t do without him,” Howard said. “I loved working with him and hope to continue working with him in the future.”
Jones County Commissioner Mike Haddock had similar sentiments.
“Bryan is a good friend,” Haddock said. “I didn’t know him that well until we started doing the Facebook interviews, but he has been a tremendous asset to Jones County. I certainly appreciate what he’s done for us.”
Lenoir Community College marketing director Richy Huneycutt said she has enjoyed Hanks’ selflessness to the area.
“I respect and admire Bryan so much,” Huneycutt said. “He loves this community and no doubt the community is better because he is a part of it. Happy Birthday my dear friend. You are only getting better with time.”