North Carolina mens basketball coach Roy Williams says former West Charlotte High center Kennedy Meeks has a wealth of talent, and that a unique ability to start a fast break could be invaluable to the Tar Heels next season.
Williams also says Meeks, who is 6-foot-10 and 285 pounds, will become even better by improving his conditioning.
Kennedy Meeks (is) a Sean May lookalike when (May) was a junior or senior in high school, Williams said on his radio show recently, comparing Meeks to the former UNC All-American. Hes got to get his body into shape but (has) great hands. (He is) probably the best outlet passer that Ive ever recruited.
The way we like to run, if we can get the perimeter guys out running, youll see him a lot of times throw the ball two-thirds the length of the court.
Meeks will likely start some fast breaks in McDonalds All-American game Wednesday night on ESPN (9:30 p.m.). He will play for the East team, coached by Freddy Johnson of Greensboro Day School.
Meeks, in this years game with fellow UNC recruit Isaiah Hicks of Oxford Webb High, is one of 28 North Carolina players selected for the all-star game since it began in 1977. Meeks aunt, Brenda Richmond, who handled the bulk of his recruiting, said North Carolina hasnt given her nephew a specific schedule to follow before he arrives on campus June 11.
They just want him to maintain his (4.2) grade average, she said. They have not put any pressures on him. They have a plan for him as far as his weight, but they have not told us anything more. You see it all over the Internet about his weight, but they have to understand he has an 18-year-old body. Itll change and develop.
Richmond said Meeks is playing tennis and working out with a personal trainer. She said each night, Meeks is in his room doing push-ups and squats and other exercises.
Hes getting ready, she said. When he goes to UNC, hell have a nutritionist that comes with the program. I really believe that program, that all the kids go through, with weight training and drills and exercise, will pull the weight off.
Richmond said she is urging Meeks a National Honor Society member to enjoy his senior year.
His vacation time, his coming home time, his hang time with his friends, a lot of that is going to change, she said. He may as well enjoy life now, and the rest will take care of itself.
Meeks is a two-time Associated Press all-state pick (the 2013 team has not been announced). As a senior, he averaged 19 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three blocks for West Charlotte (26-5). As a sophomore and junior, Meeks led the Lions to the N.C. 4A championship game, winning the title and being named MVP as a sophomore.
Throughout his career, while hes been a strong scorer and spectacular rebounder, Meeks strength has always been that outlet passing.
Williams believes Meeks passing will fit well on his team next season.
He has good solid post moves inside, Williams said on his radio show. He has to do a much better job with his conditioning to get him in shape, but hes going to be a fine player for us.
Wertz: 704-612-9716; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr