At lunchtime on Wednesday, he was one of the top high school senior basketball players in the Palmetto State, wined and dined at a banquet in Columbia that featured South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin as a speaker.
But by the time dinner rolled around, Goose Creek High School’s Dantez Bennamon was one tired football player after completing a two-hour practice on the gridiron in preparation for Friday’s Division II-AAAA playoff game against South Pointe.
Such is life when you are Bennamon, one of the top athletes — and students — in the state.
The South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association on Wednesday unveiled its top seniors — and teams — for the 2013-14 season, and Bennamon was selected as one of the top five seniors in Class AAAA, along with Stratford’s Demetre Rivers of Stratford.
Bennamon, who has helped the football team to the No. 3 ranking in Class AAAA football, is a big reason why the Gators checked in as the No. 5 team in the basketball preseason poll, two spots ahead of the Summerville Green Wave.
Bennamon averaged 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game for the Gators as a junior. He also shines the classroom with a 3.9 GPA.
Bennamon is 25-0 as the Gators’ starting quarterback the past two seasons, including 12-0 this season. He’s completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,207 yards and eight touchdowns. He needs 161 yards on the ground to become the fourth Gator to rush for 1,000 yards this season.
Plenty can happen when you are being recruited in two sports. But for now, there’s a good chance that Bennamon ends up at Presbyterian College.
“They are recruiting him to play football and basketball, and that is very appealing to Dantez,” Goose Creek football coach Chuck Reedy said. “It also offers good academics. Dantez doesn’t talk a lot, so we will see.”
The Lowcountry is well represented in both boys’ and girls’ selections.
The West Ashley girls are the preseason No. 1 team in Class AAAA, while Wildcats’ star Dekeiya Cohen was one of the top five girls selected to the elite team. Cohen, The Post and Courier’s female athlete of the year in 2012-13, recently signed to play with the Baylor Bears.
Cohen is a two-time All-Lowcountry and state selection. She averaged 26.7 points, 13 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.5 shots blocked per game last winter. She begins her final season with 1,803 career points.
Goose Creek is the only other girls’ team from the Lowcountry to crack the top 10 in Class AAAA, checking in at No. 7.
Stall is No. 8 in girls’ Class AAA, and Bishop England is No. 2 in Class AA. The Bishops have two of the top five seniors in Class AA: Michele Boykin and Mary Harriet Moore.
In Class A, Baptist Hill’s DaShon Magwood is one of the top five players among small-school players.
Goose Creek and Summerville are joined by Battery Creek and Baptist Hill in the boys’ team rankings. The Dolphins check in at No. 8 in Class AA, while the Bobcats are No. 8 in Class A.
Academic Magnet’s Tyre Moore is listed as one of the top five seniors in Class AA.