Meeks Recruiting Wiggins

RALEIGH, N.C. – With his senior season completed, UNC signee Kennedy Meeks has a new focus – helping the Carolina staff recruit the best players in the country. His No. 1 target? The class of 2013's No. 1 player, Andrew Wiggins.

Meeks and Wiggins know each other well, having spent 2012 playing each other on Nike's EYBL circuit and at the Nike Global Challenge.

During Wiggins's official visit to Chapel Hill earlier this month, the two talked extensively and spent a good amount of time together before and after UNC's regular-season ending loss to Duke.

"I've been talking to Andrew most of the time," Meeks said. "Just telling and getting him to realize that Carolina is a perfect fit for him. Letting him know he'll be helpful to us, even if he only stays for one year. I'm just helping out I guess."

Wiggins has kept his recruitment as tight-lipped as any in recent memory. His poker face, however, is just a device to keep pressure off his decision, according to Meeks. In private, Wiggins is a normal 17-year-old.

"He's real straightforward and I really don't think he knows where he wants to go yet," Meeks explained. "The student section chanting his name, he definitely liked that even if he didn't show it."

"When he's around other basketball players like himself, he's talkative and making jokes and stuff like that. I think he'll know in a couple weeks or so where he wants to go. I think we have a chance."

Meeks said he and Wiggins talk, mostly via text message, "basically every day." The conversations don't always center on basketball. But when they do, Meeks has perfected his recruiting pitch.

"Let's go win a national championship, I mean that's all I have to say," said Meeks. "I just try to let him know how good it would be if we play together."

This Saturday, Meeks, fellow UNC signee Isaiah Hicks and Wiggins will head to Chicago to participate in the McDonald's All-American game. He sees it not only as a chance to get better and play against top-flight competition, but to continue his recruitment of Wiggins.

"I told him he'll see at the McDonald's game how good we go together; him, me and Isaiah. I think it'll be a great opportunity for us three to get along and get used to playing together."

In addition to Wiggins, Meeks said he's had conversations with UNC target Theo Pinson as well as commitments Justin Jackson and Joel Berry and signees Hicks and Nate Britt. All but Berry and Hicks were able to attend UNC's game against Duke earlier this month.

"It's always cool to see the people I'm going to be with the next couple of years," said Meeks. "It's good to see Coach Roy Williams, the assistants and the people that recruited me. I enjoyed myself both times I went up there."

Meeks called Jackson, UNC's newest commitment, "like a little brother to me."

"At camps and during AAU, we're always hanging around each other so it'll be cool to play with him. He's very skilled and he's not as quick as everyone, but he always finds a way to score."

His commitment came as no surprise to Meeks.

"At the Florida State game, I knew he was going to commit, I was like ‘come on man, it's pretty obvious what's going to happen.' When I saw it on Twitter, I already knew, so I called and congratulated him."

As a Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald's selection, Meeks was inducted to Dave Telep's Carolina Challenge Hall of Fame. Other UNC players like P.J. Hairston, Reggie Bullock and Isaiah Hicks also have their photo posters on the wall at the event.

While cheering on West Charlotte teammates, Meeks got to look at some of the up-and-coming talent in the state of North Carolina at the camp this past weekend.

"Harry Giles is really good," Meeks said. "I just found today that he's only 14. That's pretty crazy, that's ridiculous. There's some other good players Trey Foster one of my teammates, Jaylen Robertson, Theo (Pinson) and a few other guys. I just keep telling people here that I wish I was playing. I really enjoyed this camp and kind of miss it."

Meeks, who said he will wear the No. 3 at UNC, graduates from West Charlotte on June 8 and moves into his dorm at UNC on June 15.

He'll be rooming with UNC's other freshmen. He hopes he'll have three roommates, instead of two.

"It's getting close and I'm excited," said Meeks. "I'm just ready to get to Chapel Hill and do work."

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