MARTINSBURG -Woodrow Wilson's Donte 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.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg South senior Wes Mitchem, left, named to the Class AAA boys all-state first team. Mitchem averaged 20 points per game this season.
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.
Nathan Adrian, Morgantown, sr., 20.5 ppg, 13.7 rpg
Chase Conner, Shady Spring, sr. 27 ppg, 6.4 apg
Luke Eddy, George Washington, sr., 26.5 ppg
Donte' Grantham, Martinsburg, sr. (Captain), 18 ppg, 12 rpg
Ryan Meadows, Princeton, sr., 21.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.2 apg
Wes Mitchem, Parkersburg South, sr. 20 ppg, 11 rpg
Donte Nabors, Woodrow Wilson, jr., 20 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg
Travis Tomer, University, sr., 17.6 ppg
Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, sr., 15 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg
Ra'Shaud Kincaid, South Charleston, sr. (Captain), 10 ppg, 8 apg,
Dominique Newman, Washington, jr. 15.7 ppg, 3.3 apg
Arick Nicks, Huntington, jr., 19.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg
John Riley, Lewis County, jr. 25.1 ppg, 14.2 rpg
Angelo Sirianni, Nitro, sr., 21.0 ppg
Rondale Watson, Greenbrier East, jr. 21.6 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 apg, 3 steals per game
Trevon Wesco, Musselman, jr. 19 ppg, 13.3 rpg, 3.7 apg,
A.D. Cunningham, South Charleston, so., 13 ppg, 6 rpg
Jimmy Galusky, Preston, jr., 19.1 ppg, 4 rpg
Jalen Lewis, Martinsburg, sr. , 15 ppg, 5 apg
Dillon McCarty, Point Pleasant, sr. (Captain), 17.1 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg, 3 steals per game
Carrington Morris, Capital, jr. 19.5 ppg, 10 rpg, 6 steals per game
Juwan Powell, Hedgesville, sr. 14.75 ppg
Kendall Smith, Washington, jr. 10.9 ppg, 9.4 rpg
Henry Sorsaia, Hurricane, jr. 14.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg
T.J. Arbaugh, Lincoln County;Keldon Bell, Washington; Trevor Britton, Parkersburg; Nequan Carrington, Woodrow Wilson; Travis Clower, Hampshire; Trey Dawson, Hurricane; Doug Dennis, Parkersburg South; Curl Dixon, University; Aaron Ferguson, Princeton; Zach Fisher, Winfield; Tyler Groves, Preston; Chase Hancock, Woodrow Wilson; Tommy Hargroves, Musselman; Rasaan Harris, Hurricane; Kade Harrison, Ripley; Eric Johnson, Brooke; Jerome Jones, Washington; Jacob Kilgore, Spring Valley; Mitchell Koch, Preston; Evan Magers, John Marshall; Wade Martin, Point Pleasant; Dean Marshall, Morgantown; Nathan McNeil, St. Albans; Z. Minnick, Logan; Shaquan Milleer, Huntington; Hunter Moles, South Charleston; Cody Monroe, Parkersburg South; Logan Phillips, Elkins; Joey Re, Oak Hill; Marcus Reed, Riverside; Ryan Reinbeau, Wheeling Park; A.J. Reynolds, Logan; Jordan Robinson, Martinsburg; Obi Romeo, Greenbrier East; Luke Saseen, Wheeling Park; Chris Shields, Hedgesville; Casey Smith, Ripley; Jalen Smith, Jefferson; T.J. Tomblin, Logan; Hunter Wallace, Brooke; Hunter Walters, Princeton; Dalton Westfall, Buckhannon-Upshur; Chancelor Wooding, Huntington; Bryce Woodliff, Greenbrier East;
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 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.
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 Andre, 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, Brian or I were," Andre Nabors said. "In some ways, he is. His dad was a scorer and Donte can score. Brian 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."
One who does have a state championship is the first-team captain, Donte' Grantham of Martinsburg.
Donte' 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.
"It's an honor to be on that list with a lot of great players" Grantham said. "We all kind of know each other through Twitter and stuff. I know a lot of these guys from AAU. It's a pretty huge honor to be picked the captain of that great group of players."
Grantham , a repeat first-teamer, in addition to leading his team to a state title, 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.
Chase 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.
George Washington's Luke Eddy was his team's top option all year and the senior responded with a 26.5 average.
Princeton guard Ryan Meadows capped a huge senior season by averaging 21.7 points, 5,4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.
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).