HAYWARD, Calif. - The excitement has been building over the Super Bowl with it now being just days away.
The family of a 49ers player who grew up in the East Bay is preparing for their trip to Las Vegas to attend the big game.
The father of offensive lineman Aaron Banks spoke of his son growing up in Hayward and his journey from high school athlete to the NFL.
Lamont Banks Sr. said he is excited and nervous as he anticipates his son playing in the Super Bowl while representing the hometown team.
"I'm bringing binoculars," said Banks. "I make sure I see Aaron, the good plays. This is what's mandatory. "
His binoculars are mandatory while he's attending the Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
He'll use them to watch Aaron closely along with the rest of the family.
"Proud of my son, excited and eager," Banks said as he described his emotions now that Aaron will be playing on football's biggest stage, the Super Bowl and using his skills to win.
Dad said Aaron played basketball at El Cerrito High School and displayed agility, even at 6 feet 6 inches tall and 330 pounds.
"I see someone who will do well in whatever he does," Banks said, adding his son's nimbleness makes the 26-year-old great at protecting the quarterback.
Aaron's nickname when he played college football at Notre Dame was "Dancing Bear."
In 2021, when Aaron was drafted by the 49ers, Banks said he was proud to have his son play for a Bay Area team.
Dad was a Raiders fan before Aaron joined the Niners.
"I'm wearing red now and I'm not turning back. I like it," said Banks.
Relatives described Aaron as a family man with a strong work ethic.
They said he avoids the limelight, that he's low-key and down to earth despite his success.
"I admire that he never lost touch with even people who were there for him and he hasn't even talked to in years," said Aaron's younger brother Frankie Banks.
Dad said he's watched the NFC Championship game repeatedly, relishing a hard-won victory.
Now, he's anticipating the big game
"It'd be nice if he came home with a ring. That would really make me proud. He might even let me wear the ring at least once. OK dad, your 10 minutes are up," said Banks laughing.
The family has collected items over the years that reflect Aaron's journey as an athlete since high school.
Now, they're hoping to add a Super Bowl win to his many accomplishments.
The Banks family leaves for Las Vegas on Friday morning.
Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at Amber.Lee@Fox.com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU, Instagram @AmberKTVU or Twitter @AmberKTVU.