CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The last time he visited the Kanawha Valley, Donte' Grantham was on top of the basketball world.
The Martinsburg all-stater led his team to the Class AAA title at the Civic Center in March and was courting offers from several big-time Division I programs, including West Virginia, making him an instant hero for thousands of Mountaineer fans.
But here it is not even three months later and, in many ways, Grantham must feel like he's starting all over again.
Grantham is back in the Kanawha Valley this weekend to compete in the North-South All-Star Basketball Classic, which tips off at about 7:30 tonight at the South Charleston Community Center. Pre-game skills contests are set to begin at 6:15.
Since his triumphant journey to the Capital City in March, Grantham was selected as the state's player of the year, but then saw his college recruitment plans temporarily fizzle.
Following his April 2 visit to Morgantown, a commitment was anticipated by Mountaineer faithful, but it didn't happen. In fact, when the national letter-of-intent signing period came and went without his signature to any school, WVU, among others, pulled its offer from the table, and Grantham has now opted to attend a prep school.
Both of those developments only served to increase the burn factor on the spotlight that follows him around, and now Grantham must prove himself all over again.
"Every time I get on the court, I want to prove a point,'' he said at a North team practice on Thursday, "but this time, it's extraordinary.''
Grantham plans to attend Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., which pretty much puts his recruitment on hold for another year. He also considered playing this season at Brewster Academy, another prep school in Wolfeboro, N.H.
"It's closer to home,'' Grantham said of Hargrave, "where I can come home more.''
Before the signing period expired, the schools most often mentioned as possible destinations for Grantham included WVU, Clemson, George Mason, James Madison, Radford and Marshall.
When asked Thursday what schools he was currently in touch with, Grantham listed Indiana, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Miami (Fla.), Maryland, Clemson and Cincinnati.
So is WVU still in the mix?
"To me, yeah,'' he said, "but I'm just keeping my options open.''
Grantham said he'll have more schools looking at him when his traveling AAU team, the D.C. Assault, competes in a July tournament in Las Vegas.
He seemed resigned to going through the entire recruiting process again, but said it didn't feel right making a commitment over the spring.