Hicks Ready For National Stage

CHICAGO - North Carolina signee Isaiah Hicks will get his first taste of the national stage on Wednesday night.

He's in Chicago for the 36th annual McDonald's All-American game festivities this week, which include visiting the Ronald McDonald house, three practices, a closed scrimmage and the televised game, which tips Wednesday evening (9:30 ET, ESPN).

"It's great to go against all types of players and the best in the country and then the Ronald McDonald House," Hicks said during Media Day on Tuesday. "It's been a great experience.

During two open practices this week, Hicks, a product at Oxford (N.C.) Webb, has been one of the standouts for the East squad.

"It's been good, actually," Hicks said about practice. "Everybody has had their standout points.

"Very intense," he added. "It's just about working hard every day and getting better."

The 6-foot-9 forward has impressed with his mobility and ability to beat the opposition to the other end for easy scores in transition.

"I say running the court because I guess yesterday when we were scrimmaging they were sleeping and I ran down the court and scored six points back to back, just by running down the court," he said when asked what he's been doing the best.

Hicks has somewhat simple expectations for the big game.

"Just to go out and contribute and try to win and play and have fun," Hicks said.

Hicks is playing alongside future teammate Kennedy Meeks on the East squad. Hicks likes Meeks' ability to step out of the paint and knock down jump shots.

"I say as a center he can shoot," Hicks said. "He can pass. Usually you don't expect all that from a center. That's great, especially for a guy that's going to be my future teammate."

Hicks and Meeks will report to North Carolina in two months for freshman orientation.

"I'm very excited," Hicks said. "I can't wait. I just want to go in there and help contribute and do everything I can."

The decision to become a Tar Heel was an easy one for Hicks. He grew up following North Carolina and said he never seriously considered picking another school.

"I always liked North Carolina," Hicks said. "I never pictured myself in any other jersey but the sky blue. It was the only decision for me."

Hicks said he'll play in the post for North Carolina and is looking forward to contributing any way he can.

"I can see myself fitting at the power forward or center," he said. "Whatever they need me to do I'm just going to go in there and contribute and try to work hard everyday and get better. I'm just going to try and help them."

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