Thursday, May 14, 2009

DeShawn Painter: The Story Behind the Story

DeShawn Painter's name came out of nowhere about a month ago when a few things suddenly changed. Once thought to be attending Florida as a member of the 2010 class, Painter got his act together, pulled up his grades and began looking for a school where he could contribute immediately. Enter NC State where Sidney Lowe was looking to bring in some upper echelon ACC talent and well, you know the rest of the story. What you may not know is the story behind the story on DeShawn Painter.

Painter grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, 20 minutes outside of Virginia beach where he attended Booker T. Washington High School. Painter always had the size and the upside that made college coaches salivate, but early on it was about getting an opportunity to get the ball in his hands. As a freshman and sophomore he was not the focal point of Mighty Bookers' offense even though he was a 5 star prospect at the time. That role belonged to Myles Holley, a 6'5 combo guard who ended up taking the JUCO route and will be joining the Nebraska Cornhuskers next season as a sophomore. After the departure of Holley, the Mighty Bookers, scouts, and college coaches everywhere were waiting to see what Painter could really do now that he had the lead role. That is when things started to unravel.

Coming into his Junior season, after a great showing for Team USA over the summer, Painter was ranked as high as #11 in the nation by some scouting services, college coaches were calling and the offers were starting to pile up. With the pressure mounting, his team ranked #3 in the nation, along with all of the other things that come with being a nationally recognized player, Painter had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He wanted to stay close to home to attend college but the pull from outside influences began to wear on him. His work in the classroom began to slip and his game wasn't far behind, as he averaged a very human 14 points, 10 boards and 3 blocks per game on the public school circuit. These numbers were on the low end of the scale of what many felt Painter was capable of. After his Junior season, with pressure weighing on the young phenom, he decided he needed to make a move. He was too good to let this happen, so he talked to those close to him and made an announcement.

Deshawn announced that he would not attend Booker T. Washington for his senior season and that he would enroll at Hargrave Military Academy.

“I talked to Vernon Macklin, and I talked to a couple of other people about it, and they told me Hargrave would be a good fit for me,” said Painter. “I know going there will get me ready for college. Plus, there’s just too many distractions around here with people coming at me from all angles. I just want to get away and just focus on basketball and school. I think this will help me as far as my future,” said Painter, who was first-team All-Eastern District but did not make first- or second-team All-Eastern Region or All-Tidewater as a junior.”

The announcement of the transfer to Hargrave, a Military Academy that many prospects use as a way to ready themselves for the rigorous lifestyle of a college athlete, seemed to be just the medicine that Painter needed. That summer Painter blew up the way scouts all over the nation had envisioned as he led his Boo Williams AAU team to the title at the Boo Williams Invitational.

“I thought that I played good and had a solid weekend,” said Painter. “On a scale of ten I was probably a seven and a half of eight. I rebounded, hustled and just worked hard. I was just having fun out there and working.”

He entered Hargrave with an new attitude and a new work ethic. Deshawn joined a team that was all ready littered with D-1 talent including: Freddie Riley (UMASS), Maurice Creek (Indiana), Adrien Lucienne (Cincinnati), Evan Gordan (Duquesne), Luke Hancock (George Mason), Chris Braswell (UNC-Charlotte) and Alex Newsome (Navy). With all those stars it was surely going to be interesting to see what kind of impact Painter would have, and would give college coaches a better idea of what they can expect at the next level. To say the least, Painter did not disappoint on the court, or in the classroom. With prior grades that had many thinking he'd need to reclassify as a 2010 prospect, Painter turned it up a notch and get his grades right and is on track to graduate on time in 2009. Here a the stats we were able to track down for Deshawn.

11-3-08 Guilfod Tech CC (8pts, 8rbs)
11-11-08 Roanoke College (10pts)
11-13-08 Louisberg Tourny (12pts)
11-14-08 Louisberg Tourny (9pts, 6rbs)
11-18-08 Patrick Henry CC (12pts, 15rbs)
1-11-09 Averett University (11pts, 9rebs)
1-26-09 Virginia Wester CC (10pts, 10rebs)

That is only a small sample, but as you know, tracking down high school stats is no easy task. However, the stats Deshawn put up were impressive to say the least as he showed that he could contribute on offense, while utterly dominating the boards against some pretty good talent. Night in and night out Hargrave plays other big time prep schools and Community Colleges as well as national tournaments. The play of Painter, considering the talent he was facing and the amount of talent on his own team, showed college coaches that DeShawn is the player they once envisioned but his upside might be no where close to being reached.

ESPN had this to say about the Pack's pick-up of Painter:
"In Painter, N.C. State has a big man that gives a good amount of effort and has tremendous upside. He uses his good, quick leaping ability to rebound the basketball, especially on the offensive end, and finish above the rim in traffic."

Painter is developing an outside game which could make him a matchup nightmare over the next few seasons.

"DeShawn has an emerging perimeter game with his rapidly improving ability to connect on jumpers. He also uses his leaping ability and high motor to block shots and take charge of the lane defensively. As he improves his footwork and moves with his back to the basket, Painter could develop into a very good interior player in the ACC."

Now that the wild ride of his recruitment has come to an end, Painter looks for a new beginning at NC State, under a coach who he feels can help mold him into the NBA talent he believes he can be.

*quotes from Virginian-Pilot article, and ESPN blog


16 Responses to "DeShawn Painter: The Story Behind the Story"
  1. KarNCSU said...
    May 14, 2009 at 12:51 PM

    very nice writeup WPH. I like stories where I can get the background info. Everyone is always talking about the now and the present and the future so its good to see what led up to this point.

  2. Anonymous said...
    May 14, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    Wow nice article wph! This kid looks like he made the right move going to hargrave.

  3. ppack3 said...
    May 14, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    Great showcase on DeShawn, WPH's. So many athletes fall into bad situations and never make to/through college. Hargrave can right the ship, and put a guy like Painter back on the good path. It says a lot about this young man's character for him to realize that Hargrave was the right path to take, and it says a lot about Sidney Lowe for him to recognize DeShawn's situation for what it is. This is a great fit with what NC state needs, and with what Painter needs.
    Sid has so much to sell here at NCSU. He said as much when he was hired. But, he brings so much more to the table. He is able to show these young guys an NCAA Championship Ring, and a NBA World Championship Ring (Pistons). He has the contacts in the NBA to be able to offer a NC State BB Player the luxury of a fair and honest assessments of their talent by NBA scouts and coaches, all with the ring of the phone. Sid brings an Offense to Raleigh that mimics a Pro-style and prepares these guys for what they are going to see at the next level. He also offers his insight as a former point guard and floor general where he had to know every position on the court inside and out, (much like a quarterback on the gridiron). Do you have to continue selling in order for these guys to buy in? Okay. Top notch facilities, a rabid fan base, great education programs, one of the top places to live in the US, Championship Banners (with an 's'), storied history, helped found the best conference in America, Jimmy V's legacy, Kay Yow's legacy, Norm Sloan's legacy, Everett Case's legacy, David Thompson's legacy, Sidney's legacy, along with dozens of others, etc., etc., on and on.... WTF! I can't believe John Wall could go to Kentucky! Hey, did you know that the grass isn't even blue there? Liars. Stay home John! And, Go Pack!

  4. thursday said...
    May 14, 2009 at 1:18 PM

    One thing I really appreciate the recruits that Coach Lowe and staff are pulling in is that they all seem to have positive attitude's about coming to State and a strong desire to work hard to improve their game but also to improve their classroom production as well. The only thing better then talented players are talented players with a good head on their shoulders. This story shows what kind of people Sid seems to be going after and will certainly pay dividends in the near future.

  5. Realwolfpacker said...
    May 14, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    WPH's -

    GREAT WRITEUP. I love that the kid realized that he needed some structure and didn't let all of the "handlers" come at his the way that a lot of kids do.

    He seems like a great kid and we desperatly need his defense and rebounding. It sounds like he is a hard worker and hustles and that is exactly the kind of player we need and Sid wants.

    Welcome, DeShawn. Make us proud.

    Again, nice job WPH. I enjoy coming to the site everyday.

  6. Anonymous said...
    May 14, 2009 at 2:14 PM

    Wolfpack Hoops,

    What is the update on John Wall. I saw someone else ask that last night and it has yet to be answered... Is there room for John Wall because I count all of the scholorships are gone for this year...... So does that mean we gave up on Wall and signed Painter or is there something going on behind the scenes. Can you find out from your sources if we are still in the John Wall sweepstakes

  7. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    May 14, 2009 at 2:33 PM

    ^ It looks as if Wall is headed elsewhere. That's is the word from almost everyone we've talked to.

    However, with John there is no sure things. He has people in his camp pulling him in a lot of different directions. What does John Wall want? It probably doesn't matter because it looks as if Clifton is going to win out on this one. Our only shot at Wall seems to be his Mother. Honestly we've told you all there is to know about Wall at this point. I know sometimes we have to keep things quiet for the sake of the program or the recruit, but that is not the case in the Wall sweepstakes. Do we still have a shot? Until Wall announces his trimmed list or his final destination, then yes we do, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

  8. John said...
    May 14, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    Excellent write-up on DeShawn WPH! Really appreciate it.

  9. Anonymous said...
    May 14, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    So with DeShawn in the fold for '09 that leaves Harrow +1 for '10?

    WPH - Do you think we go after Leslie/Cothron or do we go after a Mychal Parker?

    Is it likely that the scholarship numbers work out where we take Harrow and two others in '10 class?

  10. wolfpack4eva said...
    May 14, 2009 at 3:19 PM

    we don't have a scholly to give Wall anyway do we?

  11. primacyone said...
    May 14, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    Great non-premium read at The Wolfpacker on Lo Brown.

    What a recruiting class this has turned out to be in every way shape and form.

    Incredible class of ballers who have incredible class.

  12. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    May 14, 2009 at 3:51 PM

    As of right now, if things stay the same, we have one scholly to give in '10. I would have to say Parker, but I can't confirm this, just speculation. And there is always the chance that a scholarship could come available for an assortment of different reasons.

    If John Wall wanted to commit to State, the staff would be able to work it out. Can't say for sure how they would make it work, but there are ways.

  13. Bradford said...
    May 14, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    Every time I think about Smith, Zo, and Painter coming out onto the court together, I think of the Monstars in Space Jam. Pure intimidation. If only this could have happened a couple years ago while I was still in school and not living in the god forsaken desert of Utah where I have to pay $150 a year just to see the 'Pack games.

  14. Bradford said...
    May 14, 2009 at 4:51 PM

    ^I meant Howell. Shouldn't be trying to post and write code at the same time. Of course Zo out there too... yeah

  15. PCooks said...
    May 14, 2009 at 9:52 PM

    Not to take anything away from DeShawn Painter and his commitment, which by the way I think will be a great pickup, but...

    It appears ESPN is done with their ESPNU100 for the class of 2010. And Ryan Harrow is rated at #79, and the 18th PG overall. Which is really good, but not quite as good as the other sites have him rated. They have him rated at a 93 overall, which in comparison Zo is a 95, and Painter & Howell are both a 92.

    You can't actually see it, because for some reason they haven't posted the top 100, it's still just the 60 top players. I found it by...

    and scrolling down til you see where he commits to N.C. State.

  16. morpheus647 said...
    May 14, 2009 at 10:34 PM

    I'm sure that list will continue to get updated they still have an entire season of AAU and high school ball to go and anything could happen in that time.


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