McAdoo Moving On to Chapel Hill

A lot has happened to James McAdoo since North Carolina fans saw him win the MVP at the Jordan Brand Classic on April 16. He went to the prom. He graduated from high school. He registered for his first summer classes at UNC.

And, oh yeah, he changed his name.

In a release sent out by UNC at his request in May, James McAdoo -- who will move to Chapel Hill this weekend for the second summer session -- officially became James Michael McAdoo.

While the release let everyone else in America know his name, the 6-foot-8 power forward from Norfolk, Va. says the change happened long before.

Back in December, McAdoo told his parents and friends he wanted to go by his full first name -- James Michael. After a few weeks of raised eyebrows, his friends and family started taking him seriously and eventually the UNC sports information department made the switch, too.

The change -- or addition, to be more accurate -- was a nod to two deceased friends of the family, McAdoo said.

"They were my dad's two best friends. They were killed in a car accident (in college)," McAdoo said. "One of them was James. One of them was Michael. They were brothers."

James Michael's father, Ronnie McAdoo, was supposed to be in the car that day but ended up not going, he said. As a tribute to his friends, Ronnie pledged to name his first born son after them and eventually did.

"I have been called James most of my life but I figured (I'd do it) out of respect for them," McAdoo said. "I figured what better than my senior year right before I headed to college?"

Aside from the name change, McAdoo says he's tried to take it easy over the last two months and get ready for his time at UNC. He's played pickup basketball at Old Dominion University with current players and pros from overseas. He's also made an effort to stay in the weight room as much as possible.

"I'm trying to get bigger. Just trying to stay in shape," McAdoo said. "That's the hardest part -- staying in shape. That way you're not about to die when you're playing pickup again."

McAdoo hasn't been to Chapel Hill since the Duke game March 5 but he brought a little bit of Carolina back with him for graduation.

Midway through the graduation ceremony on May 27, McAdoo noticed the pace began to drag a little bit and decided he wanted to wake people up. After he picked up his diploma and walked across the stage, he turned to the crowd and yelled out "Tar!"

"I knew my mom and them would know what to do, so they yelled ‘Heels!'" McAdoo said. "Then I did it one more time and the whole crowd yelled it.

"I just thought, why not just spice it up?"

With the chant down, McAdoo recently turned his attention to the rest of minutiae that comes with being a freshman basketball player at UNC. He decided on roommates -- fellow freshmen P.J. Hairston, Stilman White and Jackson Simmons -- and a number -- 43.

McAdoo wore the No. 14 at Norfolk Christian but said he felt that number belonged to Danny Green. Unfortunately, with UNC's current roster and long list of retired and honored jerseys, McAdoo found it hard to find a number of his own.

"I wanted No. 40 but that was taken (by Harrison Barnes). I wanted to wear No. 44 because that's my father's number but that was taken (by Tyler Zeller)," McAdoo said. "No. 42 is James Worthy (in the NBA, and at UNC was Brad Daugherty, Jerry Stackhouse and Sean May) . ... So I thought why not 43?"

McAdoo will travel with his parents to North Carolina on Saturday where they will spend the day with family that lives in the state. Then on Sunday, he'll move into his dorm.

Until Saturday, McAdoo said he's not stressing out too much. He knows move-in day is on the horizon and he's enjoying the last few days with his friends and family back home. If there's one thing he is looking forward to, he said, it's getting out on the court with his teammates.

"I know once I get there it'll be like a job almost but I love basketball," McAdoo said. "I just love being in shape and being able to play every day. It's something I'm really looking forward to just getting in the gym and working with people who have the same goals."

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