Summer Update: James Michael McAdoo

CHICAGO --- Freshman James Michael McAdoo is already several weeks into his college transition.

He moved into his Chapel Hill dorm, began taking classes and is working out with the team. This new life of college student-athlete is one he's enjoying.

"It's been a dream come true. I tell people all the time that it's a blessing from God to be able to go to an institution like UNC," McAdoo said. "Just to finally be there; and I'm enjoying every day, and trying to learn new things."

McAdoo said he's still adjusting to a daily life that includes summer school, playing pick-up ball, and getting in the weight room.

"We're in summer school right now so it's two classes a day and study hall. But we've been playing pick-up with the pro players that have been having their camps there," McAdoo said. "We can't really get in the gym during the day because of classes, but we've been getting in the weight room and working with our strength and conditioning coach just trying to build that foundation for the long season coming ahead."

McAdoo has also made the adjustment to college-level courses and living on his own.

"I'm in a history class and an exercise and sports science class. They're interesting. It's a lot different than high school but it's fun; I'm enjoying it," McAdoo said. "You're on your own as far of getting up, going to class, eating. You know, you're by yourself, so us freshman try to lean on each other. Like, me, P.J. (Hairston), and the other guys. But the upperclassmen, they take care of us."

Developing relationships within the team has also been a focus since he arrived on campus.

"I've known most of those guys for awhile now. And just to be in a setting where I see them everyday is just fun just with building relationships and brotherhoods," McAdoo said. "I'm going to be friends with all of these guys for the rest of my life so it's just a dream come true."

McAdoo participated in the Amar'e Stoudemire Skills Academy last week, where he was matched up against some of college basketball's best big men. Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jared Sullinger highlighted a group that included Duke brothers Miles and Mason Plumlee, Connecticut forward Alex Oriakhi and's No. 1 rated incoming freshman, Kentucky's Anthony Davis. The experience gave McAdoo reps against some of the game's best.

"It's been a learning experience just to be able to measure myself against guys that I'm playing against this year. I feel like I could hold my own and even excel," McAdoo said of the camp experience. "The Plumlee brothers and Sullinger have proved it on the collegiate-level and they're battle tested. I have so much respect for them, personally. So for me to be able to come out here and measure myself up against them and see what I can do (is a great experience)."

The camp also provided McAdoo a sense of direction and a sense of belonging as he begins his life as a Tar Heel.

"(It gives me) confidence knowing that I am one of the best big men in the country," McAdoo said. "It's about knowing that I'm going to Chapel Hill and I'll have great coaches and guys like John Henson and Tyler Zeller, who are phenomenal big men, and being able to learn from them."

Expectations are high for a loaded Carolina team this coming season, but McAdoo is comfortable in whatever role is asked of him.

"I'm just trying to do whatever Coach Roy and his staff tells me to do," McAdoo said. "I'm just trying to be humble. But every time I step on the floor, I just want to help the team. It might be rebounding, it might be sitting on the bench cheering my team on. Whatever I can do to help us win, that's my role."

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