New Home Awaits Hubert

Desmond Hubert's college recruitment lasted almost a full four years. His summer vacation will last less than a day.

After his graduation at New Egypt High on Thursday, Hubert will immediately move to Chapel Hill on Friday where he'll start summer classes at North Carolina the following week.

"I'm nervous but in a good way," Hubert said. "I'm excited to get down there and start to play with the team, start playing pickup and working out and getting better."

With only an abbreviated summer vacation, Hubert has been efficient with his time in recent weeks -- hanging out with friends, getting packed and saying his goodbyes. Since he spent most of his summers on the road with AAU, goodbyes aren't normally tough for Hubert, but he said he's thankful for all the support he's had in New Jersey.

"It's definitely going to be hard because a lot of people really took me in when I came out here," Hubert said. "They made me feel like I was at home."

Hubert has also targeted his weaknesses during recent workouts. He's hit the weights hard and hopes to improve his strength for upcoming post battles against John Henson and Tyler Zeller.

Hubert acknowledged that his playing time will largely be determined by how strong he gets between now and the start of the season and admitted he has a ways to go. His current max on bench press isn't up to par, but it's not due to a lack of effort.

"I'm just trying to lift as much as possible and eat as healthy as possible," the 205-pound Hubert said. "Right now my goal is to weigh 220 by the start of the season."

Despite his slight frame, Hubert still sees his greatest impact coming on the defensive end. He sees himself as a high energy player that plays hard defensively and fills in where his teammates need him -- a role that fits his new No. 14 well.

"Hopefully I'll be able to come in for Henson and Zeller and get some defensive stops -- rebounds, blocks, hustle," Hubert said. "Really anything I can do and coach asks me to do."

When he arrives in Chapel Hill, Hubert will take two classes this summer: sports marketing and history. His roommates will be Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock, who he looks forward to spending more time with.

Since he committed so late into his senior year, Hubert hasn't had the chance to interact much with his future teammates. This summer will be an opportunity to bond.

"I know some of the guys through AAU but I don't really know them that well," Hubert said. "That's another reason I'm excited to get down there, meet those guys and hang out with them."

Hubert is looking forward to learning Chapel Hill a little better, too. He's only been to Carolina's campus three times but likes what he's seen so far.

"Everybody is friendly. Everybody is big basketball fans out there. Everyone just makes you feel comfortable," Hubert said. "I'm just excited to get to my new home and settle in."

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