Exum's father, Cecil, played for the Tar Heels from 1980-84. He played pro ball in Australia and has remained in the country ever since.
In July 2012, Exum earned international recognition for his play with Australia's 17U team at the FIBA Americas Championship. He averaged 17.2 points per game, which made him the fourth-highest scorer among all participants . He led Australia to a 6-2 record and the silver medal. Both losses came against the United States squad, but Exum averaged 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in those two games. Later in that same month, he came to the United States to participate in an AAU tournament in Las Vegas (attended by college coaches) and the adidas Nations international event in Long Beach, Calif.
Exum's only basketball in the United States in 2013 was his participation in the Hoop Summit in April, which pitted the top USA seniors against a group of international all-stars. Exum drew raves during the week of practice and then scored 16 points in the World team's 112-98 win.
His play at that Hoop Summit event, was followed by stellar performances in the FIBA U-19 championships. He All-Tournament honors after averaging 18.2 points, including 33 points in the quarterfinals and a 28-point, 5-assist outing in the bronze medal game.
This has put Exum on early 2014 NBA Draft boards. DraftExpress and ESPN both rank Exum as the No. 3 prospect in next year's draft, for which he will be eligible.
This sets up a decision for next year. Does he enter the 2014 draft or attend college?
If it's the latter, he's confirmed five finalists: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, UNC, Oregon.
As to the former?
"Really, it will come down to my deciding if I think I am ready for that level or not," Exum told The Devils Den this week. "I will rely on help from my parents and coaches. Both going pro or going to college are great options, but I think it comes down to me being ready, and feeling that I'm ready. Right now, I don't know and neither one is standing out for me."
UNC first showed interest in Exum in July of 2012, where the Tar Heel coaches watched him at the Las Vegas AAU event. At the time, Exum told Inside Carolina: "My dad played there, so I know a fair bit from just watching them. ... They are starting to look at me. They just told me they were going to come watch my games here. They told me to do what I do and to show them what I can do."
But interest since then has been minimal -- until now.