"I want to focus more on school and basketball and there are too many distractions here," Painter answered when asked why he is making the move.
While some of his junior season was a struggle, Painter improved as the year went on and has carried momentum into the AAU circuit. After rehabbing an injured foot (stress fracture), the in-state standout was cleared to play within the last month or so for Boo Williams' squad.
Painter, who plays alongside other top talents such as Montrose Christian junior Tristan Spurlock, helped Boo Williams capture the championship title in last month's Boo Williams Invitational. Rated a five-star prospect by Scout.com, Painter is regarded as the No. 16 player overall in the 2009 class and the No. 4 power forward.
"I'm playing real good basketball right now," Painter said. "I finally got my foot cleared to play. We've got one championship already and we almost got another. I've played against a couple of good guys so far. I played real good against them. I've played well and with a lot of energy. I've been rebounding, blocking shots, scoring inside and just working hard."
Painter is pleased with the progress he has made, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
"I've really improved with blocking shots," Painter said. "I'm starting to be in the right position and my timing is getting better."
On the recruiting front, Painter was in touch with coaches from Clemson, Florida, Louisville, N.C. State, Virginia and Virginia Tech, among others, last month. He says he likely will narrow his list of schools by the end of summer, but for now he is focused on other things.
"Basically, schools have just been recruiting me and trying to get me to visit," said Painter. "For me, I have to find the right fit. A lot of schools are telling me how I fit into their program, so I'm trying to figure out which one is best.
"Right now, I'm not really trying to get too much into it. My focus right now is going to Hargrave in August and getting better."
At last check, Painter had high interest in four schools in particular - Florida, Louisville, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Those four programs recruited the Tidewater junior even when he struggled some this past season. Other schools are in the picture now, although he does still remember the loyalty those four programs showed.
"Those schools stuck by me through thick and thin, but other schools are in there, too, because there was a situation where they couldn't get in touch with me," said Painter, who claims no favorites at this point and has not taken any recruiting trips recently.
NC State recently offered Painter a scholarship.
"NC State, they are coming at me hard too," said Painter. "The coaches basically told me there is an offer on the table, and they want me to come there and play for them. They came down to one of my workouts and have been recruiting me since then.
"The thing is I know they like me and want me to play on their team. I don't know much about them yet, but I want to get down and visit them when I can."