Newkirk Makes Return Trip

Each time Josh Newkirk visits UNC's campus, he learns more about the school and its basketball team. A junior at Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God, Newkirk made the short drive down I-40 west to take his second unofficial visit to Carolina on Saturday.

"I got on campus around 9 a.m. and we played pick-up," said Newkirk. "The first time I came, I just played for an hour and left. Today, I got to see the facilities, the atmosphere and more of the campus."

And what did the 6-foot-1 point guard think of the facilities, atmosphere and campus?

"It was a great experience," he explained. "You just get chills when you're on the campus and it's a great feeling."

During pickup games Newkirk teamed with Tar Heel freshmen Desmond Hubert, P.J. Hairston and Jackson Simmons, as well as Luke Davis. In addition to Carolina's entire 2011-12 roster, three members of the 2005 National Championship team – Raymond Felton, Sean May and Marvin Williams – and Shammond Williams participated.

"Playing against those guys was surreal," said Newkirk. "It was crazy because you see them on TV all the time and now you're playing against them.

Newkirk most often defended, and was guarded by, former UNC guard Shammond Williams. Not one to back away from competition, Newkirk said he was proud of his in-game performance.

"I played well," he said. "I was on the court with a purpose. Shammond is tough -- he is a real fundamental guard that does whatever it takes to win."

Fellow class of 2013 guards Allerik Freeman and Anthony Barber, as well as class of 2013 wing Troy Williams, were also in townfor unofficial visits. They also played pickup.

"(Anthony) Barber, he's real quick with the ball and crafty," said Newkirk. "Al (Freeman) is just a scorer, so is Troy (Williams). I've met them before and we hung out at the football game."

After a day of traveling, Roy Williams was back in Chapel Hill to meet with Newkirk and the other visitors.

"We had a quick conversation," Newkirk said. "He was asking me about our season and what I thought of UNC so far."

"It's a good school," he continued. "I would love to play there."

Newkirk has scholarship offers from N.C. State, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Indiana and Appalachian State, with heavy interest from Miami, UNC and Tennessee.

He said that he doesn't have a leader and is looking to make a decision sometime during his senior season. He admitted, however, that a UNC offer could change that.

"If UNC offered, I wouldn't commit on the spot," he said. "But it would definitely be a top priority if I was offered by UNC."

With school in session, Newkirk said he doesn't have plans for many unofficial visits in the fall. He said, if they're not on the same night, he'll attend both UNC and N.C. State's season-opening events.

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