Atlantic City High School graduate Khalif Toombs signed a Division I college basketball scholarship this summer.
Toombs, 20, will play for South Carolina State University. He signed there after graduating from IMG Basketball Academy, a post-secondary prep school in Bradenton, Fla.
IMG Academies is one of the top prep multi-sport programs in the country, with a number of well-known athletes passing through, such as Saint Joseph University graduate Pat Calathes and Penn State's Dan Morrissey.
Toombs visited several schools, including La Salle and Fordham, but eventually settled on SCSU.
"I think it was the best fit," said Toombs, a second-team Press All-Star in the 2007-08 season. "I can probably go and play immediately. I am just going to work hard, try to win the MEAC championship and qualify for the NCAA tournament."
South Carolina State finished 12-12 last season and 7-5 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs lost three seniors to graduation, including their point guard.
"It was good to sign to a Division I school," Toombs said. "It feels good proving a lot of people wrong."
Toombs said he had to attend prep school after graduating from Atlantic City because his SAT score was too low. He took the standardized test three times before he finally got his qualifying score.
For the jet-quick, 5-foot-8 point guard, it meant he could finally pursue his dream. He wanted to go to a Division I school and not settle for anything less.
"It was a big load off my shoulders," Toombs said. "That was a goal since the eighth grade. I just knew I could make it. I wasn't going to stop until I did."
E-mail Susan Lulgjuraj: