Meeks breaks down decision

CHARLOTTE -- Kennedy Meeks announced he would attend North Carolina Friday evening.

The recruitment of Kennedy Meeks came to an end on Friday.

In front of family and friends, many of whom have help guide him through the recruiting process; Meeks signed a National Letter of Intent to play at North Carolina.

Nearly 20 members of the Meeks family piled into a small production room at ESPNU studios – aunts, uncles and cousins. Though they didn't know his decision prior to the announcement, Robert Meeks, Kennedy's uncle, said the result was much more important than the destination.

"This is an answer to a prayer and a tremendous opportunity for Kennedy," he said. "He's an excellent, humble and great kid and is going to get a top-notch education. The recruiting process is very difficult, not just him but also on the family, and we're a tight-knit family. This is something we've been waiting on for a long time."

"Tight-knit" is probably an understatement. The Meeks meet every week after church for Sunday dinner. They hang out together. Go to the mall together. Do everything together.

It's no surprise that they shared in what Meeks called "the biggest decision of my life."

"That's what I'm made of, my family," Meeks said, pointing to all in attendance. "They raised me and have always been there for me. I just have to give all the glory to God and of course my family."

Kennedy's aunt, Brenda Richmond, has been instrumental in helping Meeks reach a decision. She accompanied him on official and unofficial visits, traveled the country on the AAU circuit and served as a mediator between Meeks and the coaching staffs of school's recruiting him.

"It's a relief that it's over," she said. "I would not do this process any other way. It's a long process and, most people think that he can do it by himself, but it there needs to be someone there. Luckily for Kennedy he has that support system, not just me, that made it easier for him. We planned out when it was going to happen and how it was going to happen."

"We didn't let anyone take control of what was going on, we were always in control. You can't let coaches take control. Parents, guardians, families need to be very much involved in this process. We support him and he knows what's expected academically. Whether he goes two years, three or four years, he still needs to come back and get his degree. We're happy."

Q&A with Kennedy Meeks

Following his commitment, InsideCarolina spoke with the newest Tar Heel. When did you make your decision? What ultimately made you pick UNC?
KM: I decided about four days ago. The deciding factor was just me getting better and improving my game so I can play at an even higher level. I think the best place for me to do that is at North Carolina. Then I love the atmosphere, the fans and the tradition. Like I said, it just all fit.

Have you talked to the UNC coaching staff?
KM: I talked to them just a little bit ago, before we walked into the studio. They were excited. They were yelling and stuff, definitely happy that I picked them.

Did your official visit to UNC put it in the lead?
KM: I don't feel like it put them in the lead at all. It was all excitement when I was at both of my official visits. But after talked to my family and got their side – I knew my side – I was able to start thinking about everything. I just thought to myself ‘what is the right decision' and I decided on Carolina. I think this is the right decision.

How do you fit into Carolina's family and how will conditioning play a role in that fit?
KM: I will be conditioned to play in our up-and-down style. I'm just really determined to be one of the faces of college basketball. I'm ready to do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal.

Do you worry about playing in a fast-paced offense?
KM: No, that's honestly the last of my worries. I'm just ready to go in and play and get better. I want to get there and help us win a national championship.

How familiar are you with UNC's current roster?
KM: I'm really familiar with those guys and like them a lot. I feel like if I get in proper condition and stay like that I'll be good. My passing complements those guys, some of my ability to shoot and my mid-range shot. I think we'll fit in well together.

Growing up a Duke fan, did you ever think you'd be sitting here as a North Carolina signee?
KM: Never. I always thought I was going to be at Duke. That didn't happen. I'm a Tar Heel now.

Are you excited to be playing close to home? How important was that to you?
KM : I don't think it was that important because my family has been with me all my life. They would've traveled anywhere to watch me play, so it didn't really effect anything. But, I'm excited.

What was the feeling like to announce on national television?
KM: It felt like a big weight lifted off my shoulders. I was just in my head praising God and thanking him for all that's happening to me and my family and the good things that are going on right now. I'm just all smiles.

The recruiting process is over. What's next?
KM: I'm just focusing on my school, my basketball season and my family.

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