The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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March 24, 2013

Beckley’s Nabors born to be a first-team all-stater

Chase Connor, Ryan Meadows, Donté Nabors on AAA first-team squad

Woodrow Wilson’s Donté Nabors really couldn't help it. He was born with a legacy tag, with a name that is basketball royalty in Beckley, a city where hoops is king.

His dad, Gene, was a star for Woodrow Wilson in the early 1990s and went on to play at Louisiana State and Robert Morris.

His uncles, Brian and Andre, were also stars for legendary coach Dave Barksdale.

So the expectations were there.

A year ago, Nabors started early in the season but was relegated to the junior varsity team when he struggled with his shot.

What a difference a year has made.

Nabors became the first Beckley player in more than 20 years to average 20 points (20.5) and was the leader of the group that came up with the motto ‘Refuse to Lose,’ which Woodrow Wilson rode to 19 straight wins (after a 4-4 start) all the way to the state championship game, where the Flying Eagles lost to Martinsburg, 57-52.

Nabors was the only underclassmen on the Class AAA boys basketball all-state first team released Sunday by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association. He joined Shady Spring’s Chase Connor and Princeton’s Ryan Meadows as the area’s representatives on the first team.

It was quite a turnaround for the junior.

“I just got off to a really poor start last year, and that made me want to work even harder,” Nabors said. “I wouldn't say there was any more pressure because of the name. To me, it's just my dad and my uncles. I know they were great players. I want to be better than they were.”

Gene and Brian, both all-staters at Woodrow Wilson, are assistant coaches under Ron Kidd.

“He worked hard, and that was a credit to him,” Gene Nabors said. “Being the dad, I kind of stepped away from it and let my brother (Andre) work with him. I am extremely proud of  how hard he worked. He never complained, he never missed a workout. We told him this, ‘When you aren't working, someone else is.’”

“Donte has the ability to be better than Gene, Andre or I were,” Brian Nabors said. “In some ways, he is. His dad was a scorer and Donte can score. Andre was a great defensive player, and that is where he improved the most this season. I was probably somewhere in the middle. If he continues to work hard, he can be better than we were.”

Nabors knows what that means.

“They both have state championships,”  Donte Nabors said. “That is what I want. Honors are nice, but this is Beckley, and we play for championships.”

Connor, who was a first-team Class AA selection last year, made first-team AAA team this time, after Shady Spring was reclassified to Triple-A in the fall. He led Class AAA players in scoring with a 27 ppg average. He also averaged 6.4 assists.

Meadows, a sharp-shotting Princeton guard, capped a huge senior season by averaging 21.7 points, 5,4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.

Donté Grantham, who was also named the Evans Award winner (as the state player of the year) Sunday, captains the first-team all-state team.

Grantham, who averaged 18.3 points and 9.1 rebounds, had 20 and 17 in the win over Woodrow Wilson.

A repeat first-teamer, in addition to leading his team to a state title, he became the first Martinsburg player to finish with 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.

Nathan Adrian of Morgantown is also a repeat selection. Despite missing six games with an ankle injury, Adrian, who has already committed to West Virginia, averaged 20.5 points per game and 13.7 rebounds.

George Washington's Luke Eddy was his team’s top option all year and the senior responded with a 26.5 average.

Wes Mitchem, who nearly led Parkersburg South to the Class AAA semifinals before it fell to Washington, also averaged a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds per game.

University’s Travis Tomer averaged 17.6  points to round out the first team.

Ra’Shaud Kincaid (10 points, 8 assists) of Class AAA semifinalist South Charleston is captain of the second team. He is joined by Washington’s Dominique Newman (15.7 ppg, 3.3 apg), Musselman’s Trevon Wesco (19.1 ppg, 13.3 rpg, 3.7 apg), Woodrow Wilson’s Andrew Johnson (15 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg), Huntington’s Arick Nicks (19.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg), Lewis County’s John Riley (25.1 ppg, 14.2 rpg), Nitro’s Angelo Sirianni (21.0 ppg) and Greenbrier East’s Rondale Watson (21.6 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 apg, 3 spg).

Point Pleasant’s Dillon McCarty captains the third team (17.1 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg, 3 spg) and is joined by Martinsburg’s Jalen Lewis (15 ppg, 5 apg), Hedgesville’s Juwan Powell (14.8 ppg), Washington’s Kendell Smith (10.9 ppg, 9.4 rpg),  South Charleston’s A.D. Cunningham (13.6 ppg. 6 rpg), Preston’s Jimmy Galusky (19.1, 4 rpg), Capital’s Carrington Morris (19.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg) and Hurricane’s Henry Sorsaia (14.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg).

Area players earning honorable mention honors included Nequan Carrington (Woodrow Wilson), Aaron Ferguson (Princeton), Chase Hancock (Woodrow Wilson), Obi Romeo (Greenbrier East), Hunter Walters (Princeton) and Bryce Woodliff (Greenbrier East).

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