Meeks Down to Two

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Spend some time at West Charlotte High School and you'll hear one question repeated over and over.

"Where is Kennedy Meeks going to college?"

After eliminating Indiana, Kentucky and N.C. State this past week, Meeks has acknowledged it'll be one of two schools - Georgetown or North Carolina.

"It's super hard," a noticeably slimmer Meeks said of making a decision. "This is one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make in my life. Both are great schools. They produce the same; the coaches are just about the same – both legendary. They both have good players. It's just hard to say what's different about them – and that's what's good about them."

The UNC and Georgetown coaching staffs have used former players, now in the NBA, as examples of how Meeks would fair in their systems.

"Coach Thompson talks to me a lot about the big men they've had over the years, all the way back to his dad," said Meeks. "Coach Williams mentions – he's been doing it for a while – Sean May and Tyler Zeller. He showed me footage of them when I was on my official visit."

Meeks and West Charlotte started practice on Oct. 31, in hopes of capturing their second state title in the last three years. The Lions' first game is still a few weeks out and Meeks hopes to have a decision made by then, allowing him to focus on the season.

"I need to continue to get the pros and cons of each school," Meeks explained. "Of course you have to see who is going to the pros and see how you fit into the program. I feel like I'm close, but I feel like I'm far away. I think I'm going to do it November. I'm just still talking to the coaches, assistant coaches and players."

The Early Signing Period for basketball recruits is Nov. 14-21.

While using prayer and guidance from a tight-knit family to help him make his decision, Meeks has been laser focused on improving his conditioning, dropping weight and being the unquestioned leader of this year's West Charlotte team.

"This is my team now, so I'm trying to lead," he said. "I try to show the underclassmen where to go and what to do during practice. Sometimes they don't go where they need to go or do what they need to do."

In one drill, West Charlotte's bigs have to grab a ball from the floor, dunk it, put it back on the floor, pick it up and dunk it. A player basically goes until he doesn't have the lift to dunk anymore. Meeks said this is one area where he sees a huge change.

"I feel way stronger," Meeks said. "I feel more explosive than I was before. One time I couldn't even dunk five times straight. Now, I'm doing it 15 or 20 times in a row. It feels good."

Meeks said his new exercise regimen, which includes more rigorous weight lifting, running on the track and drills each morning and afternoon, shows his commitment to basketball. A commitment some fans and analysts have questioned over the last year.

"I want to get in pro shape when I get to college," said Meeks. "I'm willing and have shown I'm willing to do that because I love basketball and this is what I want to do for the rest of my life."

Wherever he goes, Meeks said he'll have the support of his family.

"They just want me to get a degree," he said. "Two schools like Georgetown and UNC – both great academically and in basketball – I can't really go wrong."

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