Meeks At The Center

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Many teams run offenses that utilize the high post. But on Team United, Kennedy Meeks takes it a step further and is at the center of every halfcourt possession from that spot.

That's an atypical role for a center. But Meeks, listed this week at the EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam at 6-foot-9 and 265 pounds, is a rare breed. He is his team's best passer and biggest player.

"I like to get my teammates open through my passing," Meeks said. "It makes them look good and makes me look good, so it's all good."

Team United coach Kyle Gaither explained, "His high-basketball IQ allows us to do a lot of things with him. He's one of the best passers in the country. You can do a lot of things with Kennedy, because he's so smart."

Typically, Meeks sets up near the top of the key and is flanked by two players on the wing and two cutters on each side.

"I look for whoever is cutting the fastest," Meeks said. "Whoever is in front of their man and whoever is sliding on the baseline as fast as they can, that's who I throw it to."

Because of his passing ability, teams started backing off, daring Meeks to take open mid-range to three-point jump shots. With the help of Gaither and West Charlotte head coach Baronton Terry, he's made defenses pay.

"I guess they thought I couldn't shoot," Meeks said. "I've been working with my coaches over the last year to improve my shooting and I've gone out to the three-point line.

"But of course, if somebody's open I'm going to pass it -- absolutely. But if nobody can get open and my man is playing off me, then I'm going to shoot it."

Meeks works with Terry, daily, to improve all aspects of his game.

"We play pickup games every morning and lift weights," he said. "We also have a session where we just do post moves and work on those."

In his first day at the Peach Jam, Meeks played 54 of a possible 64 minutes, despite having a 102-degree temperature earlier in the day. He cites this as evidence of his stamina, which goes contrary to those who believe he his out of shape.

"I only sat out two minutes and played the entire second half in my last game," Meeks said. "I'm proving people wrong."

Gaither added, "He actually has a lot of endurance and plays at his own pace. A lot of times it may look like he's not in good condition because of his weight, but he's in great shape. Anyone that can play an entire half without coming out is in good shape.

At one point, Meeks seemed to be nearing the conclusion of the recruiting process. He told InsideCarolina, however, that he's having more difficulty with taking the final steps to choosing a program than he originally expected.

"I really don't know," Meeks said in a candid moment about his looming college decision. "I'm going to visit UNC whenever I have time. I plan on making a trip, but my schedule is just really tight right now with camps and events back to back."

Meeks keeps in regular contact with the UNC staff. He said he speaks frequently with Roy Williams.

"He just asks me how my family is doing and how things are," Meeks said. "He's telling me how he's going to watch me play and how much I remind him of Sean May."

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