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Showing his skills

Kentrell Gransberry spent two seasons as the leader of the South Florida basketball team. He set a school record for rebounds per game (11.1) and gained national exposure by doing it in the Big East Conference.

Tuesday, Gransberry began the next step in his basketball career. He is participating in the NBA’s pre-draft camp, which takes place at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports Complex.

Gransberry was hoping for an invitation to the camp.

“When I got that call, I was just so excited,” Gransberry said. “All I could think to do was just thank all my coaches and teammates, because it wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

USF coach Stan Heath was excited for Gransberry as well.

“I think I got a call at 1:30 in the morning the day he was invited,” Heath said. “He was real excited. He’s been working really hard and staying in shape to prove that he is ready to compete on the next level.”

The pre-draft camp is one of the final chances players have to impress scouts before the June 26 draft. Gransberry has been working on getting his name called in the draft since the Bulls’ final game.

Gransberry said he has been working out in Philadelphia to stay in shape and improve his footwork. He also got exposure in April at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Va.

“Portsmouth is one of the first combines where players get some exposure,” Heath said. “He had some good numbers and some very productive games there.”

In three games at the tournament, Gransberry averaged 11.3 points per game and was ninth among 64 players in rebounds per game (8.0) and field goal percentage (.565). He also led the tournament with 2.67 steals per game.

“I’ve just been training really hard, working out and trying to get ready for this camp,” Gransberry said.

The Portsmouth Invitational and his offseason work in Philadelphia paid off. Gransberry has learned, however, that preparing for a possible career in the NBA is much different than life as a student-athlete.

“I’ve learned that this is a business,” he said. “You have to be in top shape and you really have to work at it. This isn’t just a game anymore. It’s a job.”

For Gransberry, the pre-draft camp is one of the best stages to show his skills. The Orlando camp is the biggest event for prospective players, Heath said.

“Just to get an invitation to Orlando is a great accomplishment in itself,” Heath said. “It means that you’re on that radar screen and someone really wants to see you participate against the best players in the country. It’s definitely a feather in his hat, and he really needs to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Gransberry must wow scouts and coaches representing every NBA franchise to fulfill his dream of playing in the NBA.

“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Heath said. “He gets to show off his talent in front of NBA coaches and (general managers). He’ll be competing against some of the best players from around the country and around the world. This is a great measuring stick for himself to show where he is.”