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6-9, 210-pound junior power forward DeShawn Painter plans to finish out this school year at Booker T. Washington (Norfolk, VA), but the talented low post prospect is taking his game elsewhere in 2008/2009. Painter plans to play next season for head coach Kevin Keatts at Hargrave Military Academy.
“I want to focus more on school and basketball and there are too many distractions here,” Painter answered when asked why he is making the move.
While some of his junior season was a struggle, Painter improved as the year went on and has carried momentum into the AAU circuit. After rehabbing an injured foot (stress fracture), the in-state standout was cleared to play within the last month or so for Boo Williams’ squad.
Painter, who plays alongside other top talents such as Montrose Christian junior Tristan Spurlock , helped Boo Williams capture the championship title in last month’s Boo Williams Invitational.
“I’m playing real good basketball right now,” Painter said. “I finally got my foot cleared to play. We’ve got one championship already and we almost got another. I’ve played against a couple of good guys so far. I played real good against them. I’ve played well and with a lot of energy. I’ve been rebounding, blocking shots, scoring inside and just working hard.”
Painter is pleased with the progress he has made, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
“I’ve really improved with blocking shots,” Painter said. “I’m starting to be in the right position and my timing is getting better.”
On the recruiting front, Painter was in touch with coaches from Clemson, Florida, Louisville, N.C. State, Virginia and Virginia Tech, among others, last month. He says he likely will narrow his list of schools by the end of summer, but for now he is focused on other things.
“Basically, schools have just been recruiting me and trying to get me to visit,” said Painter. “For me, I have to find the right fit. A lot of schools are telling me how I fit into their program, so I’m trying to figure out which one is best.
“Right now, I’m not really trying to get too much into it. My focus...
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