Giles sat atop the class of 2015 rankings last June when he suffered a torn MCL and ACL while playing with USA Basketball.
At 9:30 a.m. Saturday on Court 8 of the Boo Williams Sportsplex, Giles put a large brace on his left knee and took the court for CP3 All-Stars.
"It feels really good getting back, I'm extremely excited," he said.
Giles hurried an early jumper, but then began to settle in. He hit a jump hook in the lane, blocked a defender's shot attempt, and later leapt to intercept a pass near mid court.
"I was rushing and tentative at first, but then let the game come to me and once I started playing I stopped thinking about it," he said. "Once I got the first bucket I felt great."
In the second half Giles compiled some better highlights. There was a drive from the three-point line with a finger roll finish, a block of an elite opponent and, most importantly, a dunk.
"I haven't had a dunk in a game in over a year – it felt great," he said. "It gave me a great shot of energy, to get back to what I'm doing."
Giles played in three-minute spurts, spending his breaks not seated on the bench but rather standing and stretching. When he exited the game for the final time, having posted 8 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals, he headed to the training table to get ice taped to both knees.
The brace limited his mobility, his stamina fell short of game shape, and he was clearly not yet within reach of the speed and explosiveness that he possessed before the injury. That's going to take time.
"I've still got a lot more work to do – a lot more work," Giles said. "By Peach Jam I'll hopefully be back where I was. I know it's still going to be a while, but I'll keep working."
On the recruiting front, the first three schools mentioned by Giles remain Duke, Kentucky and UNC. For the Tar Heels, his assistant recruiter has shifted from C.B. McGrath to Hubert Davis, while Roy Williams is still heavily involved.
"I know I'm getting closer to my decision, because I'm getting older," Giles said. "I know I have to start thinking about it."