Charlotte's Kennedy Meeks chooses UNC

acarter@newsobserver.comNovember 17, 2012 

Kennedy Meeks, the West Charlotte High center considered one of the top prospects in the class of 2013, announced Friday night that he will attend North Carolina.

Meeks chose the Tar Heels over Georgetown during a live announcement on ESPNU.

“It’s been stressful, a little bit,” Meeks said of his recruiting process before he announced his decision while putting on a North Carolina hat. But he said he chose the Tar Heels because of “the atmosphere, the fans, the alumni, the teammates.”

And because of the vision North Carolina coach Roy Williams shared with Meeks about his future as a Tar Heel. Meeks said Williams convinced him of “just how important I am to him, how they would use me.”

ESPN ranks Meeks, who is 6-foot-9, 275 pounds, the 20th best prospect in his class, and the No.2 center. He joins a North Carolina recruiting class that includes Isaiah Hicks, a 6-foot-8 forward from Webb High in Oxford, and Nate Britt, a point guard from Washington, D.C. who is playing his senior season at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

ESPN ranks Hicks, a slender, athletic power forward as the No.18 prospect in the nation, and the top prospect in North Carolina. Britt is the No.52 prospect in the nation, according to ESPN’s rankings.

After Meeks announced he would play for the Tar Heels, Dave Telep, ESPN’s national recruiting analyst, moved North Carolina’s class from outside to the top 10 to No.5. No other recruiting class in the ACC is higher in ESPN’s rankings.

Meeks’ commitment elevates North Carolina’s class from good to potentially great.

“He’s one of those guys that if you’re going to play a center, a true center, then you want to have this guy because he absolutely owns his area,” Telep said Friday. “He rebounds the ball with authority and is a terrific passer. And he’s got an incredibly good touch around the bucket.”

Even if North Carolina sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo departs after this season for the NBA, the Tar Heels frontcourt would likely be formidable next season with Meeks, Hicks and Joel James and Brice Johnson – a pair of freshmen.

Meeks’ announcement might have come as a mild surprise given how hard Georgetown recruited him. The Hoyas expressed their interest early in the recruiting process, and were relentless in their pursuit of Meeks, Telep said.

Anya picks N.C. State

DeMatha High (Md.) center BeeJay Anya has selected N.C. State, Scout.com, reported Friday.

At 6-foot-8 and 265 pounds, Anya is one of the true low post players in the 2013 class. According to the website, he had an impressive showing during his junior season, and also with USA Basketball over the summer.

Anya had been deciding between N.C. State and Indiana.

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