CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- One more time to shine, another chance to add feathers to a well-decorated cap.
Many of the state's finest graduating high school basketball players will gather tonight to showcase their talents at the annual North-South All-Star Basketball Classic at the South Charleston Community Center.
The skills competition will begin at 6:45 p.m. with the tip-off at 7:30 p.m.
"To me, other than making first-team all-state, if you get picked to play in the North-South game would be the ultimate tribute to your high school career," said Buffalo Coach Chuck Elkins, who will direct the South squad. "I don't know how the young guys feel about it, but to me, that's right up there with the top of the best personal accomplishments they could have."
Of the 26 players scheduled to participate, 18 will play collegiate basketball, game director Bill Gillispie said. That list doesn't include Morgantown product Nathan Adrian, who signed with West Virginia, or Hedgesville's Chris Shields, who once signed a letter of intent to play at Longwood University before being granted his release.
That leaves Evans Award winner Donte Grantham as the top draw.
"To have a state player of the year committed is definitely a huge asset," Gillispie said.
Grantham, who averaged 18.3 points per game for Class AAA state champion Martinsburg, entertained offers from the likes of WVU, Marshall, Maryland, Miami and Cincinnati before ultimately deciding to attend Hargrave Military Prep School, Martinsburg Coach Dave Rogers said.
"He had some pretty good offers on the table," Rogers said. "Donte is 6-7, he can shoot the 3 and he can handle the basketball. He's a complete player. He's gotten even a little bigger since the State Tournament.
"He's had a good spring and now he's going to Hargrave Military Prep School next year, so that will give him an opportunity to play in this game and then attend prep school and decide where he wants to spend his next four years."
Rogers will coach the North squad that features two other Martinsburg stars in Jalen Lewis and Jordan Robinson. Class AA first-team all-state players Travon Horton, of Fairmont Senior, and Bridgeport's Tyler Sprouse will join the Martinsburg trio. Travis Tomer, a Class AAA first-team all-state selection from University, will play for the North team, too, among many other talented athletes.
Guard play dominates the South roster led by Elon commit Luke Eddy, of George Washington, and Class A state champion teammates Mikey Newsome and Austin Brewer, of Tug Valley.
"The South squad's going to have some great guards," Rogers said.